Y: THE ULFRHEIM WIKI. This is a slowly growing collection of glossary/wiki entries to help you sink your canines a little deeper into the Ulfrheim universe. NB! The wiki may contain spoilers – you have been warned. =)
I try to list all the (potentially) new terms as the stories progress. The wiki section in my Author’s Notes folder is huge, but I won’t post entries in advance as that would give away too much of the plotlines and character arcs.
Words in the text that I believe may be new or difficult are linked to the wiki post where they are explained. Linked words are always this colour and underscored. Let me know if the word/concept you’re looking for isn’t there and I’ll try to add it as soon as I can.
Yuletide, aka juletid (SE/DK/NO), joletid (NN), júletíð (IS), refers to the midwinter festivities. Specifically the 12 days from the winter solstice into the new year. Midwinter, with the winter solstice and the midwinter blót, was celebrated as one of the three greatest blessings of the year by the Norsemen. Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson wrote about the yuletide celebrations in his Ynglingasaga, the first poem in Heimskringla, in the 1200‘s.
Fun fact: The Norsemen’s calendar was based on the moon cycles and they observed two seasons – vetur (winter) and sumar (summer). Vetur began in late October and ended in early April. Thus midwinter was celebrated in January, the actual middle of the winter. It marked the end of the skammdegi (the twilight days) which is the darkest period of the winter.
So why do we celebrate Yule in December now? Well, according to the Ynglingasaga, we can blame the Norwegian king, Hákon góði (Haakon the Good, youngest son of Harald Fairhair) for that. In his attempts to bring Christianity into Norway he moved the Yuletide back to coincide with the Christian celebrations of baby Jesus. (Who, ironically, wasn’t born in December.)