Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Norse Mythology influences your daily life

Most people don´t know, but Norse Mythology has massive influence in everyday life even today.


This post is about the names of our days, which are mostly derived from Norse Mythology. If you want to know more, I´ve written this, this and much more in March


Monday
You can almost hear it in the name of the day, that Monday is the day of the moon. What this means further, I haven´t yet been able to figure out, but most likely the meaning is not specifically Norse. Both in Celtic, Roman and Greek mythology, it seems to exist as well.


Tuesday
Tuesday is named after Tyr, the god of war and justice. He doesn´t play a very prominent role in known sources of Norse mythology and may very well have been more important in the beggining, but was pushed aside by the more interesting gods, Thor and Odin. The connection between war and justice may seem a bit odd for modern day man, but it does makes a lot of sense in the Viking culture, where justice is derived from whomever holds power. And since power is obtained through war or violence in general, justice is whatever is decided by those who have power. In other words, you could say that justice is determined by the victorious.


Wednesday
Wednesday basically means Day of weddings and such contracts between two people points to the main god, Odin, who was the engineer of the idea to create man. Wedding were probably held on wednesdays and the wedding, though having virtually no ceremonial elements, had to be blessed by Odin. In the scandinavian languages, Wednesday is called Onsdag, which means Odins day.


Thursday
Thursday belongs to Thor, the god of lightning and courage in battle. In some respects, Thor is the god of war, but not in the full scale sense, we usually might think of. Thor is the mightiest warrior, but his main character is that of courage and he doesn´t pick battle for no reason as would your basic war god.


Friday
Friday is Frej´s day. Frej is a Vane as opposed to the Ases and lives with his sister, Freja, in Asgard as part of the truce between these two families. Frej is the god of fertility, farming and fishing.


Saturday
Saturday is somewhat of a mystery. In Scandinavia it is called Lørdag, but this doesn´t bring us any closer to the meaning of it, so if any of you have some info to share, please do so by commenting beneath this post.






Sunday
Here the circle is complete. Sunday simply means "Day of the sun" and then we have the two opposing forces of Day and Night represented by the sun on Sunday and the moon on Monday. It seems the beliefs connected to the sun can be dated further back than Norse mythology. In 1902 the "Sun Chariot" was found in Od Shire, Denmark. This chariot depicted a horse pulling a chariot upon which a golden sun was placed. Scholars have concluded, that people in the bronze age believed the sun was pulled across the sky during the day by three different animals: a fish in the morning, a horse during the main part of the day and finally a snake would bring the sun to the underground, where it was turned off and brought back to the east by ship. The next day this would repeat.


Hopefully, you´ve enjoyed this post. If so, you can find more here or if you want to read the first part of the 'Asgard Saga' it´s available at Smashwords.com and Amazon.com (UK, DE, IT, ES)


Comment and share your knowledge beneath
What surprised you the most?