The Nordic Asa-community Blot Calendar.
What kind of calendar is NAS/NAC based on?
The Nordic Asa-community´s calendar is based on the pre-Christian heathen lunisolar calendar which includes both the lunar and solar revolutions during the year, unlike the Julian and Gregorian calendars which are solar calendars. This type of calendar was followed by most pre-christians and can be traced back to the Stone Age.
The heathen calendar contained 12 months with an extra leap month inserted every three years, the extra leap month being inserted during the summer. The months lasted from the new moon to the change between the full moon and the new moon (referred to as new and below in the sources) which meant that the pre-christian months began and ended at different times than our months do today. The full moon was and is an important time for Asatru and for germanic heathenry, as are many other pre-christian religions. It was at the full moon of a specific lunar month that the blot was performed, not at any time of year such as the spring equinox. The more modern “heathen” calendar where seasons, e.g. spring equinox, are the times of heathen holidays is not historically documented, but is based on loose 17th and 19th century theories as well as 20th century neo-heathenry with influences from other belief systems and ways of life.
In pre-christian times, the year was not divided into 4 different seasons as today, i.e. winter, spring, summer and autumn, but the year was divided into two semi-years, summer semi-year and winter semi-year, each semi-year was divided into 2 quarters, in total the year consisted of 4 quarters. The first quarter lasted from winter nights in September/October to midwinter in January, the second quarter lasted from midwinter to summarmál in April, the third quarter lasted from summarmál to midsummer in July and the fourth quarter lasted from midsummer to winter nights in September/October.
The holidays (the blot´s) that we perform are 5 in number distributed over 1 year, all of them are historically documented in the sources. In addition to these 5, we organize a large Summer blot around the real midsummer time, which is in July, this blot is not historically documented but it a blot that we in the community have created. The fact that the blot´s fall on a specific full moon means that the blot´s do not fall on the same date each year, the blot´s are fluid over a 19 year cycle. In with that there is only one fixed time of year and that is the Winter Solstice and it is from the Winter Solstices that you start from along with the first new moon after the Winter Solstice to calculate when the blot´s is, why the new moon is important is because depending on if it falls too close to the Winter Solstice or not you can calculate if an extra month (leap month) should be pushed into June/July. This calculation is called the Disting rule.
In the Ynglinga Saga, chapter 8 (depending on which translation and version) Snorre Sturlusson writes that Odin makes a law on 3 blots in the country Svitjod (Sweden) which they must perform.
The first blot is at the beginning of winter which is for good year, Winter Nights. The second blot is at midwinter (not to be confused with the winter solstice) which is for good crop, Midwinterblot/Yule/Hókunótt. The third blot is at the beginning of summer, it is for victory and success, Sigurblot (Victory Blot).
In addition to these three blots, there are 2 more mentioned blots in the sources, one is Disting/Disablot and the other is Alfablot.
What is a blot?
Blot means sacrifice and was a way for our ancestors to appease the Gods so that they would give people good harvests and a good life. Depending on what they wanted, they were exposed to different gods. To Thor, for good weather on boat trips. To Odin, to share his wisdom, etc.
Here you can download a description of how to perform a blot in modern times (It´s in Swedish).
Here are the annual 5 blot´s that the Nordic Asa-community carries out according to what is found in the sources.
Blot Calendar 2023.
MIDWINTERBLOT / YULE / HÓKUNÓTT
January 7 – 9 2023
This blot is the second blot that Odin makes a law on in the Ynglinga Saga, which is a blot at midwinter. According to pre-Christian times, the middle of winter (mid-winter) was exactly the middle of winter, which was in February (today, January 14, according to the Gregorian calendar). Midwinter first became synonymous with the winter solstice as late as the 18th century. The sources are called midwinter as Hókunótt and it was at Hókunótt that the heathen Yule was celebrated. The Midwinter Blot / Hókunótt / Yule is much disputed if and when this happened and what the origin was. But it is certain that Yule was not celebrated at the winter solstice, December 25 or at what is today Lucia.
In Håkon the Good Saga it says that he moved yule from Hókunótt (midwinter time) to the christian holiday of the birth of christ (which was then the 25th of December) but in the Nordics it ended up on the 24th of December. It also says that the heathen Yule (Hókunótt) was celebrated for three days.
The Midwinterblot /Yule/Hókunótt takes place at the first full moon after the first new moon after the winter solstice and lasts for three nights.
Visit Events to see when our Blót kindreds organize Midwinterblot/Yule/Hókunótt.
DISTING / DISABLOT
March 7 2023
Disting / Disablot is one of the most famous blots, and like Hókunótt / Midwinter / Yule one of the most misunderstood blots. Disting / Disablotet did not take place in February, but in the third month called Göja / Göje (today between the end of February and the middle of March) It was when the Swedes became Christians that Disting / Disablotet was moved to the Christian holiday candle mass (today the 2nd of February) and even today the Disting market is organized. The reason for the move was because the Disting Market seemed to be too close to the Christian holiday.
Disting / Disablot is mentioned by Adam of Bremen, according to him this only happens in Old Uppsala in Göje month after the vernal equinox and all residents in Svitjod (Sweden) had to participate, they wanted to avoid participating where they had to pay fines.
The Disablot is dedicated to the Disir´s, the female deities and the goddesses.
The blot occurs at the third full moon after the first new moon after the winter solstice.
The Disting / Disablot is one of the most famous blots, according to Adam of Bremen, the festival lasts for 8 days and 9 of each living creature are sacrificed.
The Icelandic Sagas also mention Disablot in connection with Winter Nights.
Visit Events to see when our Blót kindreds organize Disting/Disablot.
SIGURBLOT / VICTORYBLOT
April 6 – 8 2023
The Sigurblot (Victory blot) is the 3rd blot that Odin makes a law on in Svitjod, and takes place at the beginning of the summer. Even this blot is disputed about when it should have happened, some claim that it is at the spring equalization others at Walpurgis Night. But it is clear that the blot will take place at the beginning of the summer (today according to the Gregorian calendar April 14).
There is not much written down about the victory blot but it is a blot for success and victory.
The Sigurblot takes place at the fourth full moon after the first new moon after the winter solstice and is believed to last for three nights starting on the evening of the full moon.
Visit Events to see when our Blót kindreds organize Sigurblot/Victoryblot.
September 29 – October 1 2023
In the Ynglinga Saga, Winter Nights is mentioned by Odin, as blot that is dedicated to a good coming year. Which can be interpreted as the beginning of the new year.
Winter nights are on the first day of winter and the starting point for the winter half year, in our modern Gregorian calendar the first day of winter is October 14 but in the heathen lunisolar calendar the festival falls on the full moon in the month Haustmánuður which means harvest month which today falls around September/October, (the word haust is an old norse name for harvest/salvage) which is the 10th full moon after the first new moon after the winter solstice (if no extra leap month has been pushed, then it is the 11th full moon).
Winter nights last for three nights starting on the night of the full moon.
The Icelandic Sagas also mention Disablot in connection with Winter Nights.
Visit Events to see when our Blót kindreds organize Winter Nights.
October 28 2023
The Alfablot is one of the two blots mentioned in the Icelandic sources, there are mainly two sources about Alfablot, Austrfararvisur and Olav the holy Saga, both sagas are based on each other. The Alfabot is a blot in true ancestral worship, where the blot is dedicated to our ancestors, family members, relatives and others who are not with us today. According to sources, this is a private blot for family and relatives.
The Alfablot is at the eleventh full moon after the first new moon after the winter solstice (if no extra shooting month has been postponed, then it is the 12th full moon)
Visit Events to see when our Blót kindreds organize Alfablot.
Here are blot´s or other days that are noticed by NAS/NAC that are not historically covered in sources.
NAS/NAC SUMMER BLOT
July 29 2023
This blot is not something that is found in the sources, but it is the community’s own annual big blot that takes place around the 7th full moon, in July, (if no extra month has been postponed, then it is the 8th full moon). The summer blot is arranged at Rökstenen in Ödeshög, Sweden.
More information about the Summer Blot can be found here.
THE ASATRÚ DAY