Animals and creatures of Christmas, The Pig

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GrisenA more than thousand-year-old tradition still alive today – eating pork meat at Christmas or Jòl. At the time of the Vikings, they celebrated Jòl at midwinter, as a celebration of the sun or lighter days to come.  They also celebrated and made toasts to their gods and deceased friends and family

The pig had a part in the Vikings believe about life after death. The Vikings Valhall. The place where all the bravest and greatest warriors who fell on the battlefield gathered. Throughout the day at Valhall they could fight each other, and when the night came, those who had died woke up again. Then they slaughtered the pig Særimne for a big feast. Everyone participated in the following party while they were entertained by the god Odin’s female companions. The next day, Særimne was whole and alive again. The fight could start all over, and in the evenings it was once again a celebration, Valkyries served the food, and the warriors could again enjoy Særimnes juicy meat. The meat from Særimne was the food you ate while preparing for the last war – Ragnarok (doomsday).

Later on, when the earlier kings wanted to Christianise Norway, people were forced by law to move their celebration of the time when Christians celebrated their Christmas, but they kept the name – Jòl.

For the Norwegian farmer, the pig was an important protein source for many hundred years. When the pig was slaughtered before Christmas, the winter’s protein supplement was secured. The pig was slaughtered close to Christmas so that the meat would be fresh

Eating roasted pork ribs are still a Christmas tradition in many parts of Norway today.


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