Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Historical Germanic Heathenry had three major blots, which lasted for three days. Historical Heathens also had a minor celebration which was not a public blot: Disting. At the bottom of this article, I will give the 2021 dates for these historical Heathen holidays for modern practice for Old Ways Heathens. First, some brief background: The Ynglinga Saga (chapter 8), from the year 1225, lists the three great blots of the year: “Odin established the same law in his land that had been in force in Asaland… On winter day (first day of winter) there should be blot for a good year, and in the middle of winter for a good crop; and the third blot should be on summer day, a Victory-blot.” In Old Norse, “Sigurblot” means “Victory-Blot.” Therefore, we have three major Norse blots a year, that appear in the context of Ynglinga Saga (and other references) that were done publicly at Uppsala. In Heimskringla, the saga of Hakon the Good, section 15 (circa 1230 AD) it says the following: “The first night of Yule was hǫkunótt, that is midwinter night, and Yule was held for three nights.” Heimskringla Saga, Magnus the Blind, Chapter 6: “ Yule was kept holy for only three days, when no work was done.”
The Poettic Edda states Yule was three nights. HELGAKVITHA HJORVARTHSSONAR The Lay of Helgi the Son of Hjorvarth, Chapter 4. This passage is too long for this blog, but I encourage you all to look it up. Hethin came home alone on the evening of Yule, and after a stay of three days, a battle commenced. Like the Heimskringla Saga above written by Snorri, the Poettic Edda agrees that battles were not fought during the three days of Yule. Therefore, Yule was too holy to desecrate with bloodshed.
Bede states in De Temporum Ratione,Ch 15 (725 AD): "Thus, the moon by which they began their winter season was called “Winterfylleth”, a name compounded of the terms for winter and full moon, because from the full moon of that moon winter was thought to begin." Andreas Nordberg, the world’s foremost scholar on Norse Holidays, makes clear in his book on the dating of Yule that “The pre-Christian Yule feast occurs at the first full moon after the first new moon following the winter solstice, while the disting took place at the third full moon according to the same method of calculation.” (Jul, disting och förkyrklig tideräkning Kalendrar och kalendariska riter i det förkristna Norden Uppsala 2006, P.4) At Yule it was determined if a thirteenth moon would be added to the year. To keep the following year’s Yule as the first full moon after the first new moon after the solstice, it would be determined if a 13th moon would be needed or not. You can see Nordberg's book, in PDF form, with a one page English Abstract (Introduction) and twenty page summary in English (the rest is in Swedish) here: https://www.academia.edu/1366945/Jul_disting_och_f%C3%B6rkyrklig_tider%C3%A4kning While many "pagans" argue that the church holidays were the Heathen Holidays, Dr. Nordberg states otherwise, that Heathen holy days were replaced by those of the church, just like Heathenry was replaced by Chrsitianity: Nordberg states, “Icelandic sources from the 13th century mention two months called Ylir or Jólmánuthr.” (p.147). This matches Bede in De Temporum Ratione, who mentions two moons of Giuli (Yule) in the Anglish Calendar. Nordberg also states that the Norse (like the Anglish) divided the year into quarters. “This division into quarters is not recorded in Nordic ecclesiastical calendars, but is evident in folktales, sagas, provincial laws, on rune-staffs and calendar rods and in other everyday contexts. The sources also hint at a process, during which this older system of dividing up the year was gradually replaced by a division based on important dates in the Church’s liturgical year.
2021 Norse Heathen Calendar
JolManuðr (Yule Moon) - New Moon: January 13, 2021 Full Moon: January 28, 2021
SunManuðr (Sun Moon)- New Moon: February 11 Full Moon: February 27
DistingsTungl (Disting Constellation)- New Moon: March 13 Full Moon: March 28
GoaManuðr (Goa's Moon)- New Moon: April 12 Full Moon: April 27
EinMánuður (First Moon)- New Moon: May 11 Full Moon: May 26
HarpaMánuður (Harpa's Moon)- New Moon: June 10 Full Moon: June 24
SkerplaMánuður (Skerpla's Moon)- New Moon: July 10 Full Moon: July 24
Heyannir (Hey Moon)- New Moon: August 8 Full Moon: August 22
Tvímánuður (Second Moon)- New Moon: September 7 Full Moon: September 20
HaustManuðr (Harvest Moon)- New Moon: October 6 Full Moon: October 20
GorManuðr (Blood Moon)- New Moon: November 4 Full Moon: November 19
Yulir Tungl (Yule Constellation)- New Moon: December 4 Full Moon: December 19
JolManuðr (Yule Moon) 2022- New Moon: January 2 2022 Full Moon: January 17 2022 Yule (Three Nights): First Night: January 28th. January 29-30, two more nights of Yule.
Disting: March 28th Sigurblot (Three Nights): April 27th. April 28th-29th, two more days of Sigurblot.
Winter Nights (Three Nights): October 20th. Two more nights: October 21-22. Yule 2022 (Three nights): January 17th 2022 will be the first night, followed by two more nights.
2021 Aldsidu (Old Saxon) Heathen Calendar
Iul Manoð (Yule Moon) - New Moon: January 13, 2021 Full Moon: January 28, 2021
Sune Manoð (Sun Moon)- New Moon: February 11 Full Moon: February 27
ThingTungl (Althing Constellation)- New Moon: March 13 Full Moon: March 28
Summar Manoð (Goa's Moon)- New Moon: April 12 Full Moon: April 27
Fifto Manoð (Fifth Moon)- New Moon: May 11 Full Moon: May 26
Sehsi Manoð (Sixth Moon)- New Moon: June 10 Full Moon: June 24
Sivendo Manoð (Seventh Moon)- New Moon: July 10 Full Moon: July 24 Ahtodo Manoð (Eighth Moon)- New Moon: August 8 Full Moon: August 22
Haleg Manoð (Holy Moon)- New Moon: September 7 Full Moon: September 20
Uuintar Manoð (Winter Moon)- New Moon: October 6 Full Moon: October 20
Blod Manoð (Blood Moon)- New Moon: November 4 Full Moon: November 19
Iul Tungl (Yule Constellation)- New Moon: December 4 Full Moon: December 19
Iul Manoð (Yule Moon) 2022- New Moon: January 2 2022 Full Moon: January 17 2022
Yule (Three Nights): First Night: January 28th. January 29-30, two more nights of Yule.
All-Thing: March 28th Summer-blot (Three Nights): April 27th. April 28th-29th, two more days of Sigurblot.
Winter Full Moon (Three Nights): October 20th. Two more nights: October 21-22. Yule 2022 (Three nights): January 17th 2022 will be the first night, followed by two more nights. Please note, the Old English Heathens had several different moon names than the Old Saxons. The Old English Heathens baked cakes in the second moon of the year, honored a Goddess named Hreda in the Third Moon of the year, called "Sigurblot" "Eostre", in the eigth moon of the year, gave holy offerings. In the eleventh moon of the year, they gave offerings when cutting slaughtering animals for winter skins and winter meat. For Old Saxon Heathens, or other Germanic/Scandinavian Historical Heathens, please join us on the Facebook Page "Saxon Heathenry."