Midvintersblót – 13 January


Midvintersblót is the ritual of prosperity.
In ancient times, this was a celebration to the God Tyr in the countries of Scandinavia and a celebration to the God Tiw in old England, in this time of the year, we celebrate the half of the year, deep in the shadows of the winter, and the coming of the glorious sun and the heat, fertility and the warm weather. The Midvintersblótblót of the verb blóta: worshiping a deity, by means of a sacrifice ) revives the profitable forces of nature, ( it begins about twenty days after the Winter Solstice ) and it ends with the ritual to Frey at the begining of Jól/Jul.
In the ancient English calendar, the Tiugunde, the year is celebrated in honor to the God Tiw; and to the Nordic people it was the ending of the celebrations of Jól, it was in 14th of December till the 13rd of January.
The sacrifices made in Jul, before the christian convertion, would be officiated on the night of 12nd of January. The Heimskingla speaks of the plenitude of winter, or the pagan Jól, it started precisely on that day, and in the medieval Scotland was consider to be the last day of the year.
A Time of peace and living with the family, feast, games, and to remember the ancestors.
In a time when the soils were more fertile. Sumptuous banquets, plenty of beer and mead, painting the cold atmosphere with joy and happiness, thus promoting the growth of life in the soils.
The blood of animals, and sometimes of humans, “ran down” the hörgr ( altar made of piled stones ) to be collected in a sacred vessel ( hlautbollar ) with which the gódi ( priest ) sprinkled with a stick or a branch with leaves, the participants of the meeting ( thing ), the walls of the temple (hov/hof) and the statues of the gods. This was a plea for abundance, health, peace and harmony between the people and the divine powers.

The Midvintersblót had the magic property to appeal to the generosity of the productive forces of the earth. Just as the sacrificial blood ( hlaut ) served to eradicate the destructive forces, in this blót, it is summoned the triumphant powers of the god who has mastered the forces of chaos, symbolized by the wolf Fenrir. Tyr embodies the power of order, justice and the triumph; and it was thanks to his selfsacrifice, in which he lost his right hand, that has restored stability and harmony till the day of Ragnarök.
During this time, the houses where cleaned and the houseworks were often, as a preventive measureagainst any sign of disturbance.
The Midvintersblót creates an environment able to control and cure all that chaotic tendency of winter.

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