Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/433

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Custom and Belief in Icelandic Sagas. 417

11. Yule, at midwinter.

1. {Heimskringla) There was a midwinter sacrifice at

Upsala; Ingjald ate a wolfs heart and became very fierce.

2. {lb) Slaughter-night (Hoggu-n6tt) was midwinter

night, and Yule was kept for three days afterwards. But Hdkon the Good made them keep it at the same time as the Christian festival.

3- {lb) At the Yule feast the people were sprinkled with the blood of the sacrificed animals, whose flesh they afterwards ate. Toasts were drunk : to Odin for victory and power, to Njord and Freyja for peace and good seasons; then the Braga-goblet, over which vows were made; and the remembrance- goblet to dead friends.

4. {Svarfdcela) A berserk deferred a challenge till three days after Yule, that he might not violate the "sanctity of the gods."

III. Midsu inmer.

I. {Egla, 917.) There was a great sacrifice at Gaular m the summer. Gunnhild proposed to kill Skalla- grim's sons there, of whom Thorolf was to sacrifice to learn his and Egil's luck. All men were unarmed; and Eyvind, one of the attackers, was outlawed for "slaying in sanctuary," a common phrase in the sagas. 2. {La?idna7na, 900.) Lopt went every third summer from Iceland to Gaular to sacrifice for himself and his mother's brother at the temple which his mother's father had kept at Gaular. (This looks like some local cult.) Hei7nskringla s^ys of, the three sacrifices that "towards winter there was blood sacrifice for a good year, and in midwinter for a good crop, and in summer for victor>' " though the other reference quoted above from the same