Incredibly this statue is located in Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A.
Thorfinn Karlsefni, an Icelandic explorer who circa 1010 AD led an attempt to settle Vínland with three ships and 160 settlers. Thorfinn's wife gave birth to a boy in Vínland, the first child of European descent known to have been born in the New World.
Incredibly this statue is located in Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A.
The Yule goat's origins might go as far back as pre-Christian days. A popular theory is that the celebration of the goat is connected to worship of the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. It is also known that in old rural Scandinavia the last sheaf of corn bundled in the harvest was credited with magical properties as the spirit of the harvest and saved for the Yule celebrations, called among other things "Julbocken" (the Yule goat).
"Jul" or "Jol" are cognates of Norse "Jòlnir" or "Ýlir", which are alternate names of Odin, although the root itself is debated. It was the second moon (from new moon to new moon) of the winter half of the year - roughly from the new moon of November to the new moon of December. At this time, the animals for slaughter were the fattest, flour had been processed, all the work of autumn was completed, and it was time to celebrate.
The time of celebration has varied, though written sources, such as the legislation of Gulating, it was mandatory for farmers to have a beer drinking party with at least three farmers attending. If a farmer was so far away from his neighbors that this was difficult, he still had to brew as much beer as if he had been taking part of such a party. The beer should be ready by November 1.
By the wording of the legislation, there are two celebrations where beer drinking was mandatory. The first was a form of thanksgiving (where at least three farmers attended), while the second was a smaller party for the family.
Berchta, or Perchta, is often identified as stemming from the same Germanic goddess as Holda and other female figures of German folklore such as Frigga. According to Jacob Grimm and Lotte Motz, Perchta is Holda's southern cousin or equivalent, as they both share the role of "guardian of the beasts" and appear during the Twelve Days of Christmas when they oversee spinning. In some descriptions, Perchta has two forms; she may appear either as beautiful and white as snow like her name, or elderly and haggard.
According to Jacob Grimm (1835), Perchta was spoken of in Old High German in the 10th century as Frau Berchta and thought to be a white-robed female spirit. She was known as a goddess who oversaw spinning and weaving, like myths of Holda in Continental German regions. He believes she was the feminine equivalent of Berchtold, and she was sometimes the leader of the Wild Hunt.
In many old descriptions, Bertha had one large foot, sometimes called a goose foot or swan foot. Grimm thought the strange foot symbolizes she may be a higher being who could shapeshift to animal form. He noticed Bertha with a strange foot exist in many languages (German "Berhte mit dem fuoze", French "Berthe au grand pied", Latin "Berhta cum magno pede"): "It is apparently a swan-maiden's foot, which as a mark of her higher nature she cannot lay aside...and at the same time the spinning-woman's splayfoot that worked the treadle".
Bertha is reportedly angered if on her feast day, the traditional meal of fish and gruel is forgotten, and will slit people's bellies open and stuff them with straw if they eat something else that night.
In the folklore of Bavaria and Austria, Perchta was said to roam the countryside at midwinter, and to enter homes between the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany (especially on the Twelfth Night). She would know whether the children and young servants of the household had behaved well and worked hard all year. If they had, they might find a small silver coin next day, in a shoe or pail. If they had not, she would slit their bellies open, remove stomach and guts, and stuff the hole with straw and pebbles. She was particularly concerned to see that girls had spun the whole of their allotted portion of flax or wool during the year.
Information from Wikipedia
Rurik or Riurik (Old Church Slavonic: Рюрик, from Rørik, the Old East Norse form of the name Roderick; c. 830 – c. 879) was a Varangian chieftain who gained control of Ladoga in 862, built the Holmgard settlement near Novgorod, and founded the Rurik Dynasty, which ruled Kievan Rus (and later Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of Russia) until the 17th century.
Picture by Дар Ветер
Ragnhild Tregagås or Tregagás was a Norwegian woman from Bergen. In 1324/1325 A.C.E. she was accused and convicted for exercising witchcraft. She was sentenced to strict fasting and a seven-year long pilgrimage to holy places outside of Norway. The trial against Ragnhild Tregagås is the only one concerning witchcraft that is known from medieval Norway, taking place 250 years before the witch-hunt in Norway started.
Trial records provide a spell used by the accused Ragnhild Tregagås to end the marriage of her former lover, a man named Bárd. The charm contains a mention of the valkyrie Göndul being "sent out":
I send out from me the spirits of (the valkyrie) Gondul.
May the first bite you in the back.
May the second bite you in the breast.
May the third turn hate and envy upon you.
The original meaning of the winter festival now known to most as Christmas :
Yule ( Jul - Norwegian )
Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time") is a religious festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later being absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names (Ærra Jéola (Before Yule) or Jiuli and Æftera Jéola (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht.
Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for Christmas with its religious rites, but also for the holidays of this season. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule. A number of Neopagans have introduced their own rites.
The word Yule is attested in an explicitly pre-Christian context primarily in Old Norse. Among many others (see List of names of Odin), the long-bearded god Odin bears the names jólfaðr (Old Norse 'Yule father') and jólnir (Old Norse 'the Yule one'). In plural (Old Norse jólnar; 'the Yule ones') may refer to the Norse gods in general. In Old Norse poetry, the word is often employed as a synonym for 'feast', such as in the kenning hugins jól (Old Norse 'Huginn's Yule', 'a raven's feast').
The burning of the Yule Log