Guest post by Elísabet R. Viðarsdóttir
The Norse, with their gods and myths, sailed ashore in Iceland, the land of magical creatures both living and dead. In order to settle the island, the Norse knew they needed permission from these creatures.
The living conditions on the island were harsh, especially during the long, cold and dark winters. The only thing alive in nature was the evergreen tree. It truly was Yggdrasil, the eternal tree that holds everything together.
Crops were scarce, leaving little food for the animals. This forced the farmers to slaughter some of them and preserve the meat for winter. Thank goodness for the gods and the otherworldly beings who blessed them and helped them survive through their hardships.
December came and the farmers could finally look forward to longer days and shorter nights.
It was time for Winter Solstice, a time to celebrate and honor the gods for all they had done.
The farmers prepared a big feast with the leftover grains, meats, mead and wine. It was the perfect time to celebrate. It was a new season where all the good things in life begin anew with a turn towards brighter days on the Wheel of the Year.