Haggis originally brought to Scotland by Vikings, an award winning Scottish butcher argues

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ICELANDIC “SLÁTUR” A Scottish butcher argues the Scottish national dish, Haggis, was originally brought to Scotland by Vikings, making it a descendant of the Viking delicacy still eaten in Iceland, slátur. Photo/Arnþór Birkisson.

A Scottish butcher who has spent the past few years researching Haggis recipes argues it dates back to the Viking invaders of the British Isles the UK newspaper The Telegraph reports. The paper argues the research of award-winning Scottish butcher Joe Callaghan, who has spent the last three years studying haggis shows “Scotland’s national dish is an ‘imposter’… invented by Vikings”. Callaghan also argues the original Scottish ingredient is deer, not sheep.

The “natonal dish of Scotand”, invented by Vikings
Haggis is a dish very similar to the Icelandic delicacy slátur: A sausage made by stuffing a sheep’s stomach with diced innards of sheep, liver as well as lungs and heart, mixed with a oatmeal, onion, pieces of sheep suet (solid white fat) as well as seasoning. Haggis is considered the “national dish” of Scotland, occupying an important place in Scottish culture and national identity.

Read more here.

How thousands of Icelanders suddenly started worshiping the Norse gods again

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High priest Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson with a procession of fellow members of the Asatru Association, a contemporary Icelandic pagan society, at the Pingvellir National Park near Reykjavik in 2012. (Silke Schurack/Reuters)

…the old Norse gods have once again emerged from the clouds to claim a people once theirs. For the first time in more than 10 centuries, thousands of Icelanders soon will be able to worship Thor, Odin, Frigg and others at a temple on which construction begins this month. Not since the collapse of the Viking age has anyone overtly worshiped at the altar of a Norse god in Iceland, which banned such displays of reverence at the rise of Christianity.

The degree of religiosity among the church’s denizens, however, is a matter of debate. “I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson, a high priest of the Norse god religious church, Asatruarfelagio, told Reuters. “We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.”

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The people of Iceland were never sold on Jesus. “From the time of Iceland’s formal adoption of Christianity as the official state religion in the year 1,000 C.E., Iceland has never been a fanatically Christian country nor particularly orthodox in its Christianity,” wrote scholar Michael Strmiska ofSUNY Orange. “A strong case can be made that the acceptance of Christianity was motivated more by economic and political considerations than authentic Christian fervor. … Good political and economic relations with Christian Europe depended on at least a semblance of Christian conversion, and so this semblance was achieved.”

Indeed, even as Christian governments authored increasingly restrictive measures on non-Christian faiths, the old ways glowed. Even today, when walking the streets of Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik, pedestrians will find many streets named after Norse gods. And “a very large number of Icelandic personal and surnames are formed from ‘Thor,’” wrote Strmiska.

Read the whole article here.

Construction of a pagan temple to begin in Reykjavík next month (Updated)

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THE FIRST IN 1000 YEARS Plans to begin construction of a pagan temple in Reykjavík have been set in motion. Photo/Stefán Karlsson

Plans to begin construction of a pagan temple in Öskjuhlíð hill, Reykjavík, have been set in motion. This will be the first pagan temple to be built in the Nordic countries in nearly a thousand years, said the alsherjargoði Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, head priest of the Icelandic Ásatrúarfélag, in an interview with RÚV.

The Ásatrúarfélag applied for a plot of land to construct a temple in 2006 and was allotted a piece of land in Öskuhlíð in 2008. The 350 square metres (3767 sq ft) temple will have a vaulted ceiling and seat around 250 people. Its construction will be completed next year.

Iceland Magazine

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and members of Ásatrúarfélagið (in photo’s below)

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Update 21.1.15

Perlan wrongly thought to be new heathen temple

CORRECTS A MISUNDERSTANDING Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson says Perlan on top of Öskjuhlíð hill is not the new heathen temple. Read more here.

 

Update 11.3.15 – 

Asatruar followers may be interested in this good news!

As everyone knows, the Ásatrúarfélagið is building an important Hof (Temple) dedicated to the Asatru religion on the hills over Reykjavic the capital city of Iceland.
People say it will be the first in a thousand years, that’s not entirely true, there are small temples dedicated to the Norse Gods around the world. But it will definitely be the first big one in a long time!
A thousand years ago the Vikings were at their strongest point. It’s a very good time remember and honor them.

Anyway here is the big news;
The first day of the construction will be on of the eclipse, the 20th of March 2015 and it will start at 09:30 in the morning when the moon and the sun will be at its highest moment in total darkness (98%), which was last seen in Iceland 61 years ago.
A monumental step in reviving the ancient faith.

– posted by Ásatrú World

Vikings and the little ice age: The end of beef and beer

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While many of the stereotypical myths about Vikings being marauding adventurers have been proven to be just that, myths, there is one truth that is well documented. They knew how to win friends and influence people when they settled in a new land.

An ongoing archaeological dig of a farmstead called Hrísbrúin Mosfell Valley, in southwestern Iceland, led by Dr. Davide Zori, the archeological field director for the Mosfell Archaeological Project in Iceland, has shed some light on the Viking settlement there and how a changing climate may have changed their way of life., putting an end to brewing beer and raising cattle.

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 The Mosfell Valley site includes a Viking Chief’s 100-foot longhouse as well as a great hall where feasts were held. Carbon dating has shown the structures were built between the late 9th century and early 10th century. Further studies show the site was abandoned in the 11th century.
The fascinating part of this story is the way archaeological evidence has been combined with ancient Viking historical texts to give us a picture of the group’s culture. “These texts read almost like novels,” Zori said in a statement. “They talk about daily life. Yes, the Vikings may have put axes to one another’s heads, but these accounts also describe milking cows.”
Read more here