Norse wheel or Nordic compass

Months of the Norse Calendar

The Norse divided the year into two seasons, winter and summer, and 12 months of 30 days each. Every four years, they would add four days to account for the partial days left at the end of each year (much like our leap year addition). The months of the Norse calendar followed the phases of the moon. Beginning with the new moon as a birth, a full moon as the maturation of the celestial body, followed by decay and death to birth again.

Because the Norse were an agrarian society, knowing the months and time of year was important. It allowed them to plant at the correct times for crops to grow and be harvested before winter set in.

The Summer Months – Náttleysi

Known as the “nightless” season, the summer months were:

  • Harpa – First new moon in April to mid-May
  • Skerpla – Mid-May to mid-June.
  • Sólmánuður – Mid-June to mid-July.
  • Heyannir – Mid-July to mid-August.
  • Tvímánuður – Mid-August to mid-September.
  • Haustmánuður – Mid-September to mid-October.

The Winter Months – Skammdegi

Called the “short days,” the winter months were named:

  • Gormánuður – First new moon in October to mid-November.
  • Ýlir – Mid-November to mid-December.
  • Mörsugur – Mid-December to mid-January.
  • Þorri – Mid-January to mid-February.
  • Góa – Mid-February to mid-March.
  • Einmánuður – Mid-March to mid-April.

Some months have more than one name. If the calendar months are something you would like to know more about, please contact us and let us know.

Celebrations – Blót

The word “blót” means “sacrifice” and signifies a celebration amongst the Vikings. Before the Viking conversion to Christianity, the celebrations that have been confirmed in Viking literature include:

  • Sigrblót – the first day of summer.
  • Summer Solstice
  • Alfarblót – Harvest celebration on the first day of winter.
  • Winter Nights – mid-October
  • Jól – Yule, Winter Solstice to mid-January.
  • Þorrablót – Husband’s Day, the first day of Þorri.
  • Góublót – Wife’s Day, the first day of Góa
  • Dísablót – May have celebrated the beginning or end of winter, or both; date unsure. Sweden holds a related festival, Disting, in late February or early March.

Modern day Norse celebrations include Leif Erikson’s Day on Oct. 9.

About Asgard Alaska

We are committed to helping people explore the Viking way of life while using the natural beauty of Alaska as our backdrop. The Norse are a fascinating culture that inspire us to be more human in the face of mechanization and computerization.

We look forward to bringing you the opportunity to experience the Norse way of life through Asgard Alaska. You can help us achieve that goal through a tax-deductible donation. We appreciate your support.

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