regndoft: (Frigida {A Cold Place Called Home})
Do any of you remember the good old days when I used to post stories and other tidbits of trivia related to the folklore of my beloved Scandinavia?

I'm asking because it's seven in the morning, I've stayed up all night and I feel like killing some time.

So earlier... Yesterday, following exchange was had on MSN:

[ profile] taiyou_to_tsuki: But I was reminded of this (... by the Thor fandom), and now I've wanted to find material and write something about it on LJ for a long time.
[ profile] nevermore_1106: About what?
[ profile] taiyou_to_tsuki: Eventual connections between hammers and fertility rites in Norse religion and Scandinavian folklore. >3>
[ profile] nevermore_1106: Haha! That was a very nice way of saying "I HAVE MJOLNIR IN MY PANTS".

A summary of the conversation/explanation that followed behind cut )

... I've often seen people who are a bit more well-acquainted with Norse mythology state that Thor was not only a thunder god and slayer of giants, but a fertility god as well and a sort of "patron" of peasants. However, I have never once seen anyone elaborate on what that fertility aspect means. Above is a possible explanation.

├×rymskvi├░a is btw indubitably one of the most popular myths in Northern Europe, and has been for about a millennium. Several medieval ballads based on it from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland survived to the 19th century, resulting in some edits and changes. Some day, I might compile and translate them if anyone is interested.

Another fun trivia about hammers: they were, as stated above, mainly protective symbols against evil. While not as prevalent as crosses (obviously), they still sometimes appeared in everyday rituals. The by far most recent example was recounted by an informant whose 92-year-old grandmother still carved hammers into the dough before baking bread in the early 1990s (!!!).

(Bread in itself was considered protection against evil, so the process of baking it was very delicate and required safety measures. Bread = Srs business in rural Scandinavia).

June 2016

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