June 20, 2021 — The Ynglinga saga indicates one of the great blóts (festivals) of the Viking Age (and earlier times) was in summer. The Old Norse text reads: “at sumri, þat var sigrblót” which roughly translates to “in summer, there was victory.”It is generally accepted that the sigrblót took place at the start of the (ancient) summer half of the year that began in April (unlike today, whence summer is usually considered to start in June.)
“The timing and name of the surviving blót we call “midsommar” in Sweden make sense when viewed through the lens of our ancestors, knowing Sígrblót was celebrated long before June.”
According to Norwegian scholar Gro Steinsland, the Sígrblót was carried out in the name of Óðinn which might explain why the first two or three months of “Viking Age summer” were dedicated to victory in war and good fortune on summer raids and journeys. Today, that period would be April, May, and probably June.
Midsummer (midsommar) is still wildly celebrated in Sweden and occurs on June 25 this year, only a few days after the summer solstice in Northern Europe. The timing and name of the surviving blót we call “midsommar” in Sweden make sense when viewed through the lens of our ancestors, knowing Sígrblót was celebrated long before June.
Blóts were sacramental feasts where indigenous tribes of Fennoscandia, the Baltic Sea, Kattegat, and in a more general sense, north-western Europe, gathered to celebrate and honor various deities or natural phenomena, seasons, and the sun’s ever-changing position.