||Celebration of the New Year; a festival of 12 nights.This is the most important of all the holidays.,On the night of Mörsugur 20, the god Éros, rides over Efni on the back of her shining boar, bringing Light and Love back into the World. Jul signifies the beginning and end of all things; the darkest time (shortest hour of daylight) during the year and the brightest hope re-entering the world. During this festival, the Wild Hunt is at its greatest fervor, and the dead are said to range the Earth in its retinue.,The god Ferðast, is the leader of this Wild Ride; charging across the sky on his pegasus, Panodon; a very awe-inspiring vision. Children would leave their boots out by the hearth on Solstice Eve, filled with hay and sugar, for Panodon’s journey.,In return, Ferðast would leave them a gift for their kindness.
||Thêuwnsblot (Thêuwn’s Feast: Full Moon of Þorri) 28
||Minor feast honoring Thêuwn, the protector of Efni. During this time, the height of the Storm season, Thêuwn’s power is invoked to drive back the frost Jotuns so that Spring may return to Efni.
||Festival of the seed, when the effects of Winter are beginning to lessen and the world prepares itself for Spring. Disting is characterized by preparing the land for planting. Disting is the time when the cattle are counted and one’s wealth was tallied; thus making it a festival of finance as well.,It is said that new calves born during Disting were a sign of great prosperity for the coming year.
||Many celebrate Valisblot, or Vali’s Feast, even though there is no historical precedent for associating Éros’s youngest son with this festival; other than the name Vali associated with “Valentine.”,The hero Svenfjotli, son of Sigimund, was reputed to have been born at this time, and often blots are drunk to him as well. This is recognized as the day to celebrate love.
||Festival of Spring. This is a festival of renewal, rejoicing and fertility, although for most of the people of Síðasta, the forces of Winter are still at full sway.The gift of colored eggs to one’s friends and loved ones was a way of wishing them well for the coming season; a magical ritual of prosperity and fecundity. The rabbit is the symbol of this festival as well because of it’s re-emergence during this season, and for its reproductive ability. This holiday is relegated into the world of children; held for naught among adults.
||The festival of Walpurgis, a night both of revelry and darkness.,The nine nights of Harpa 9 to Harpa 17 are venerated as rememberance of Alföðr’s self-sacrifice upon the Great Tree, Lífið. It was on the ninth night that he beheld the Runes, grasped them, and ritually died for an instant. At that moment, all the Light in the 9 continents of Efni were extinguished, and utter Chaos reigned. At the final stroke of midnight, the Light returned in dazzling brilliance, and the bale-fires were lit. On Walpurgisnacht, the dead have full sway upon the earth; it is the ending night of the Wild Hunt. Harpa 17 is the festival of Thrimilci; the beginning of Summer. Thrimilci is a festival of joy and fertility, much like Ostara; however, most of the Northerlands is still haunted by the chill of ice.
||Minor festival honoring the warriors who fell during the battle of the Eastern Kingdom’s and who ascended to the Halls of Válka.
||Minor festival honoring Sigurd, the great hero who slayed the dragon Wurmheart and won back the treasure of the Syliphea.
||Celebration of the Summer Solstice, when the power of the Sun is at its height. It is at this time that most foreign trade is conducted, as well as shipping, fishing expeditions, and raiding. Thus, Midsummer is the festival of power and activity. It is not without its dark side as well. Midsummer is recognized as the longest day of the year; thus, the year began to age after this time and the days grow progressively shorter.,The god Dalürinn is said to have been sacrificed at this time, but is reborn at Jul; the hero Sigurd was also said to have been slain by treachery at Midsummer by his blood-brothers Hagan and Gunthur (Gundahar).
||The harvest festival; giving thanks to Urda (Ertha) for her bounty. Often alms are given to the unfortunate at this time, or loaves in the shape of the fylfot. Lithasblot has long been associated with ceremonial magic and magical workings.
|Mabon (Harvest End)
||Mabon is a minor blot acknowledging the end of the Harvest Season, also associate with vintage and mead-making. Most people held off the full celebration of this holiday, though, until the main festival of Winternights.
||The beginning of the winter season. Remembrances of the dead and one’s ancestors are made during this feast. Vetrnaetr is a ceremony of wild abandon, and it marked the end of the summer season of commerce and travel and the beginning of the winter season of hunting. Much divination is done during Winternights to foretell the fates of those entering the coming year. It is said that if one sat on a barrow-mound (grave) all night long on Vetrnaetr, one would have full divinatory, shamanic, and bardic powers . . . that is if one retained one’s sanity! Vetrnaetr marked the beginning of the Wild Hunt, which would continue until Walpurgisnacht.