Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Culture

Winter solstice feast of the Icelandic Pagan Association was held where the new temple is being built

By Staff

  • The shortest day of the  year The winter solstice "blót", one of the four main annual ceremonies of the Pagan Association celebrates the fact that the days are now getting longer. Photo/Stefán Karlsson.

The Winter solstice is the occasion of one of the four big annual ceremonies of the pagan religion Ásatrú, the other being “Þingblót”, during the tenth week of summer, “fall-blót” in connection to the first day of winter and “Victory-blót” at the first day of summer.

This year’s winter solstice blót was held in the Öskjuhlíð hill recreational area, the small forested hill just south-east of downtown Reykjavík. The planned main temple of the Ásatrú Association will rise in the hill next year. The ceremony took place on 22 December under clear skies, and were led by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high priest of the Ásatrú Association, the Allsherhargoði.

After the ceremony the assembled congregation took to a nearby banquet hall to enjoy the Winter solstice feast. According to those who attended the ceremony and feast were well attended and extremely festive.

However, many members of the Pagan Ásatrú Association have started to become quite annoyed and frustrated with growing media attention, especially from foreign journalists and visits by tourists who wish to gawk at the ceremonies.

Read more: The Icelandic Pagan Association receives hate-mail from reactionary pagans abroad

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the Allsherjargoði, tells the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that the association has been forced to ban outside or visitor participation in ceremonies and to answer foreign requests for information with automatic emails, rather than attend to each individually. Hilmar adds that foreign visitors, who had in previous years been like “flies on the wall” had begun to turn into somewhat of a nuisance this year, turning into “flies swarming in the food”.

Read more: Icelandic Pagan Association high priest moved by the outpouring international support

The main reason for this growing foreign interest, he tells Morgunblaðið, is the planned construction of the first Pagan main temple in Scandinavia a millinia which will rise in Reykjavík next year.

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