The Old Norse Calendar
Posted by Fredsvenn on March 21, 2017
The week days of the Heathens were adopted from the Roman seven-day-week that was decreed in 321 AD and soon spread into the Germanic areas, only the names of the Roman deities were replaced with the corresponding or identical Saxon/Norse deities: Luna, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sol where translated into: Moon, Týr, Ódinn/Wodan, Thor, Freyia, Saturn and Sun.
By the time of the Viking Age, both Anglo-Saxons and Norse people knew of a Moon-Day, a Týr´s Day, a Óðin´s/Wodan´s Day, a Thor´s Day, a Freyia´s Day, a Satyr-Day. In Scandinavia they skipped Saturn and opted for the more mundane and practical Laugardágr (“Washing Day”) and a Sun´s Day:
Lunedi -Monday-Mándagr, Martedi – Tuesday – Tirsdagr/Tysdagr, Mercoledi -Wednesday – Onsdágr, Jovedi -Thursday – Torsdágr, Venerdi- Friday – Freyiudágr/Fredag, Saturday-Laugardágr/Laurdag, Sunday – Sunnasdagr/Sonntagr/Søndag.
The ancient Germanic/Norse year was divided into two seasons: Summer and Winter. Summer began at the festival of Eostre, close to the Spring Equinox, and Winter began at the festival of Winternights, close to the Autumn Equinox.
Between these two festivals was the festival of Midsummer (Lithasblot) at the Summer Solstice, and the festival of Jul (Yule), at the Winter Solstice. There are other minor festivals that are celebrated in between these four major ones, listed below in the table.
The year was divided into mánaður (“moon phases”), hence “months” and into two main seasons: