The calendar year is 966 A. D. and I am a Norseman named Olaf the Strong. Harvest is nearly done and your day of my wedding is fast approaching. When you are an outsider to our life-style, I will attempt to relay for you our customs about the process leading up to and pursuing my future nuptials. This assertion may have been thought to one of the travelers who seen the Scandinavian region in the overdue 10th century. The storyplot told by Olaf may have been written down by the visitor. Although the story might have been embellished somewhat or biased by the visitor's own values, it can give us a look into the somewhat unknown rituals of the peoples of Viking time Scandinavia. The principal options for the Viking period come from archaeology, runic inscriptions, and modern-day literary data provided by Arabic travelers and Germanic chroniclers such as Adam of Bremen (Courtship, Love and Matrimony in Viking Scandinavia). With this thought, it seems truly impossible to be sure that any information of the Norse wedding can be truly correct. All that you can do is to create a situation as close as is feasible using what information we've at hand. With that said, I'll continue with the storyplot of my impending wedding.
As with most marriages in Viking get older Scandinavia, mine is an arranged marriage. My father, like the majority of other fathers seeking a bride for his son, had been scouting prospective brides at cultural gatherings, feasts, other ceremonies and undoubtedly, the Thing, since last harvest season. The truth is a gathering where fathers bring their daughters not only to perform housekeeping and preparing at his booth for his comfort, but also to help make the young girls and their wifely skills obvious to possible suitors (Mary Wilhelmine Williams, Social Scandinavia in the Viking Get older. 1920; New York: Kraus Reprint Co. , 1971. p. 282). After my dad located a bride-to-be he thought suitable for me and he and the father of my prospective bride had arranged that an alliance between our two family members was suitable to both, the negotiation of the bride-price commenced. The bride-price consists of three repayments: from the groom, me, comes the mundr and morgen-gifu, while my bride's family is providing the heiman fylgia (Courtship, Love and Matrimony in Viking Scandinavia).
The mundr, or "bride-price", as you may make reference to it, will be paid by me to the father of my bride to be. I am going to pay it in gold, as is the custom, and it'll be equal in value to the dowry of my soon to be partner. The morgen-gifu, or "morning gift", was also establish at the moment. I will give the morning gift idea to my wife, as the name signifies, the morning hours after our union is consummated. The very last amount that was agreed upon was the heiman fylgia, or dowry. The dowry presents the part of my bride's father's inheritance to be trusted to me to make use of wisely on her behalf maintenance during our marriage and to provide for her and our kids should I pass away. Once all the amounts had been arranged upon it was finalized by the handsal or formal contract of betrothal closed by a palm clasp and witnessed by at least six men, "because the oral agreement reached could have validity only so long as the witnesses were alive" (Frank, p. 475-476).
As with most wedding ceremonies of our contemporary society, ours is usually to be held on the traditional day for weddings in the North, Friday or "Friggas-day", sacred to the goddess Frigga, the goddess of relationship (Hilda R. Ellis-Davidson. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 1964. pp. 110-112). Our date for your wedding has been known for many months. This is to permit for enough time to have adequate food stocked up for the week-long special event and so that enough mead, a honey based ale, is available for my bribe and I to share together within the month pursuing our wedding, generally known as the "honey-moon" (Edwin W. Teale. The Golden Throng. NY: World. 1981. p. 127; also see John B. Free. Bees and Mankind. Boston: Allen & Unwin. 1982. p. 103).
While my wedding is yet to occur, I can let you know exactly what will happen from reviews and observing the weddings of others. My bride will be concealed away with her attendants, her mother and other committed women as well as perhaps a gyja or priestess. They will remove her old clothing and any symbols of her unwed position including the kransen, a gilt circlet that is worn by Scandinavian young girls of gentle labor and birth after the outspread locks that is moreover a token of her virginity (Sigrid Undset. The Wedding Wreath. trans. Charles Archer and J. S. Scott. NY: Bantam. 1920. p. 331). The kransen can be an heirloom. The attendants will cover it up to be placed away for my bride until the labor and birth of our firstborn child. She will then visit the bath-house. The steam bath tub symbolizes the "washing away" of her maiden status, and a purification to get ready her for the spiritual ritual the next day. Her attendants will instruct her on her behalf responsibilities as a partner, spiritual observances to be followed by married women, advice on the best means of living with a man, and the like(Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia). Finally she will be outfitted for the coming ceremony. Her wild hair will be remaining down also to replace the kransen she wore as a maiden, she'll instead wear the bridal-crown, an heirloom kept by her family and worn only during the wedding festivities (Undset, p. 331).
As for me, I am going to also be studied away by my own attendants, including my dad, my married brother and many other committed men and perhaps a goi, or priest. Traditions requires which i obtain an ancestral sword that belonged to 1 of my forebears, which is used in wedding ceremony the next day. I have several options in obtaining this sword. If I have any ancestors buried near by I can get the sword of their grave-mound. If this isn't possible, my family may hide an ancestral sword for me personally to get, where I'd be confronted by a guy costumed as a ghost or aptrgangr of my ancestor, he will elaborate on my instructions by reminding me of my family record and lineage, the importance of custom, and the need to continue the ancestral bloodline. Alternatively, the sword that i have to obtain might instead be given if you ask me by a full time income relative, complete with a lecture on genealogy (Courtship, Love and Relationship in Viking Scandinavia). Then i will also go to the bath-house with my attendants to symbolically rinse away my position as a bachelor and purify myself for the coming wedding ceremony. My attendants will also impart their wisdom of what my husbandly tasks will contain. I'll then be outfitted and the sword of my ancestors will be worn within my side.
The night time has approved and the time has come for the wedding ceremony. The first order of business will be the exchanging of the mundr and the heiman fylgia prior to the gathered witnesses. Following the exchange, my bride will be led to the chosen location, preceded by a young kinsman of hers bearing a sword which will be her wedding surprise to me, her new partner (Ellis-Davidson, Sword at the marriage, p. 97). The wedding ceremony will then continue with an invocation to summon the interest of the gods and goddesses. Following this, I'll present my bride-to-be with the ancestral sword which I recovered the prior night. She'll keep this sword in trust for our firstborn son, just like was done by previous Germanic tribes as defined by Tacitus: "She is receiving something that she must hand over intact and undepreciated to her children, something for her sons' wives to receive in their switch and pass on to their grandchildren" (Tacitus, p. 117). My bride-to-be will then present to me the sword which had preceded her to the service. "This interchange of gift items typifies for the coffee lover the most sacred bond of union, sanctified by mystic rites under the favor of the presiding deities of wedlock" (Tacitus, p. 116). The ancestral sword signifies the customs of the family and the continuation of the bloodline, as the sword directed at me by my bride symbolized the transfer of her father's vitality of guardianship and security over the bride-to-be if you ask me, her new partner (Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia). Following the exchange of swords, my bride and I'll exchange finger wedding rings (Williams, p. 98). I will offer my bride-to-be her ring on the hilt of my new sword, and she'll present my band in the same fashion: this juxtaposition of sword and wedding rings further "emphasizes the sacredness of the small between man and better half and the binding aspect of the oath that they take together, so that the sword is not really a threat to the girl only, but to either if the oath be damaged" (Ellis-Davidson, Sword at the Wedding, p. 95). Using the rings after our hands, and our hands joined up with upon the sword-hilt, we will speak our vows. This may conclude the marriage service, but there continues to be more yet to come.
After the final outcome of the marriage ceremony should come the bru-hlaup or "bride-running, " which may be connected with the bru gumareid or "bride-groom's-ride" (Williams, p. 97), a contest by the get-togethers of my bride and myself to the hall for the wedding feast. Whichever group arrived previous at the hall was required to serve the ale that nights to the participants of the other get together. Needless to say, my party is mounted for the "bride-groom's-ride, " so that it is a foregone conclusion that people will earn the contest. What will happen next is something steeped in traditions and superstition. When my bride arrives at the feast hall I'll prevent her way and also have my bared sword laid across the threshold. This means that I lead my new bride-to-be into the hall which she would not stumble above the threshold. It is of great importance that my bride should not fall as she goes by the door, for that would be an omen of extreme misfortune (Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia).