With the popularity of TV series such as History Channel’s Vikings and BBC’s The Last Kingdom, there is a resurgence in interest in the ancient Norse traditions. A couple in Norway took this interest to a whole new level recently when they decided to have an authentic Viking wedding — complete with a blood sacrifice!
Elisabeth, 27, and Rune Dalseth, 36, wed according to a 10th century Viking ceremony on August 25. According to the Daily Mail, the ceremony included traditional Viking costumes — for all included, even the guests. Traditional Viking longboats were present during the service. In addition, there was throat singing, honey mead, and a hog-roast banquet at the wedding which was held on the banks of a Norwegian lake.
However, it is the tradition of a blood sacrifice that truly makes this a Viking celebration.
The “blot” ritual involves a cauldron of pig’s blood. According to the Daily Mail, the sacrificial blood “is put on a pile of stones, then drizzled over small figures representing the gods, and then onto the forehead.”
The newly married Viking couple, from Sunnmore, are a part of a Norwegian Viking revivalists group that has 6,000 members.
— Katheryn Winnick (@KatherynWinnick) September 5, 2018
Elizabeth, a stay-at-home mom to their son — who is aptly named Ragnar — recalled their wedding.
“We had no Spotify,” she revealed. “Instead, we danced to live music that our ancestors danced to over a millennium ago.”
Prior to meeting Rune in 2016, Elizabeth, a former beautician, had no knowledge of the Viking way, or paganism. Luckily, Rune was there to guide her. However, there was some skepticism from Rune’s Christian family.
“I come from a very Christian family,” he revealed. “When I announced that we were not going to have a Christian wedding my mum was a little unsure about it.”
Thanks to the Viking revivalist group, many of the Viking traditions surrounding marriage were able to be upheld. A Gothi (similar to a priest) was found that could marry the couple. In addition, Elizabeth was able to track down a traditional Viking-styled wedding gown. The pair also had two authentic replica longboats built for the occasion.
Couple exchange vows in a VIKING wedding on the shores of a Norwegian lake inspired by a 10th-century ceremony https://t.co/g1up6Vn9Zw
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) September 4, 2018
However, one modern tradition that the couple upheld was having Elizabeth arrive with her father to the wedding.
“I arrived with my father, one of the few bits of modern tradition that we observed,” Elizabeth explained. “I was also in a white dress, but not a princess dress.”
After the ceremony, some guests were surprised to discover that they would be asked to participate in another Viking tradition: Brullaup. This tradition sees the relatives of the bride having to “compete in a race against the relatives of the groom.” The losers of this race are then tasked with having to serve alcohol during the wedding reception, much like viewers of History Channel’s Vikings saw when Ubbe and Margrethe got married.
For the record, Elizabeth’s family won.
You can watch the traditional Viking ceremony below.