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Freeyyaa

Nordic Countries

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The ones who are fond of Nordic countries willkommen till...welcome to the thread!

Edited by Freeyyaa

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My last name is Thomasson but I don't know if that's Nordic or not.

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I enjoyed the Swedish foods I've sampled and I like the Swedish design ethos with its use of light woods and fabrics. Travel to Sweden and Denmark are on my bucket list.

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Norwegian forest cats. Fluffy pride, joy and a treasure of Kongeriket Norge. These are active, catchful and clever cats.

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Today, by the way, is Vappu, one of the biggest holidays in Finland. Here's photo of people celebrating in Helsinki yesterday (from iltasanomat.fi):

1430372299575.jpg

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And what did you celebrate?

The roots of Vappu are in pagan traditions. In modern days it's basically a carnival where people get really drunk :)

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The roots of Vappu are in pagan traditions. In modern days it's basically a carnival where people get really drunk :)

Is this similar to the Fasching carnivals in Germany?

By the way, I love the Nordic countries. But then, you already knew that. ;)

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Pagan traditions? I want to learn more!

Back in the old days Finns had celebration of spring called Hela. People made bonfires to drive away evil spirits and danced around the fires. It was also tradition to drive cattle to pasture for the first time after winter during this celebration. The cattle was herded through fire to prevent sickness. The word Vappu comes from Saint Walpurga.

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Is this similar to the Fasching carnivals in Germany?

Here's some information about Vappu:

http://www.finland.gr/public/default.aspx?contentid=247725

As a bonus, here's a picture of me celebrating Vappu in 2008. I'm wearing the traditional cap, which you get when you graduate from upper secondary school, and overalls used by university/polytechnic students in different events. If you look closely you can see Led Zeppelin badge with the Swan Song logo between my hands :D

post-13105-0-99454400-1430759072_thumb.j

Edited by marlam

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Norwegian forest cats. Fluffy pride, joy and a treasure of Kongeriket Norge. These are active, catchful and clever cats.

A beautiful cat, but he looks very well groomed to be a wild creature. Is it common for people to tame them and keep them as pets?

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In Russia? Yes, it is. As exotic ones. The breed is not widespread in my country.

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600 kilometers from St.Petersburg, but not in Goteborg or somewhere else in Sweden.
In the capital...

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Pagan traditions? I want to learn more!

Pagan traditions? Ça va, Freeyyaa?

How real do you want it? Do you want it fun? Would you like it real? How about a little of both? I have studied it , and it's my speciality. I will spill a very small bit on Paganism in this post. If you want, I will honor. Have fun with this!

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Many of the Viking myths have been preserved. Most of the evil beings in these tales are giants with whom the gods reguraly do battle. It may be that the forebears of the Vikings had encounters with the giants of the Celtic tribes, thereby leaving a lasting and negative impression on storytellers for centuries to come. Interestingly, the 13th century historian Snorri Sturluson maintained that these gods and goddesses were not deities but rather men and women. ;)

Odin is generally recognized as the chief among these gods. However, the original head of the Earth, according to Viking legends, was the giant Ymir. He was eventually killed by Odin and his two brothers and the giant corpse employed to form most of the Earth and sky. These myths have Odin and his brothers creating men and women from the ash and elm of trees. According to Viking mythology, Odin and his brothers created 2 strongholds called Asgard and Midgard which were surrounded by Jotunheim ("Giantland"). Futhermore, Freeyyaa, the world the Vikings knew was said to have been from the chaos that was before. ;)

С Рождеством!!!

Any interest in Alfr, Freeyyaa? I can tell you about a jolly old elf. ;)

Christmas is celebrated in Western countries on a Pagan holiday. Odin is Santa. ;)

When was Jesus' birthday? It could have been today. But in the West we celebrate on December 25th, every year. Santa would fly across the world on 8 reindeer. Rudolph was not part of the original clan. :( I'm sorry, but Rudolph had a red nose. It's discrimination. I know. Red in my country represents Republicans, Russians, or something far scarier - Neocons It's crazy, I know. We have so many phobias. :lol: But the last one has some validity.

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Welcome Sleipnir! The 8 legged horse. My culture tries to erase it with eight reindeer. Sleipnir would make a great meal! Sleipner could be turned into some awesome tasting salami or some awesome burgers at McDonalds or Burger King.

(Odin) The man that had been transformed into an elf was Nikolaos of Myra who lived from 270-373 AD in Lycia (located today in Turkey) In one story Nicholas dropped 3 bags of gold for 3 daughters without dowreys down a chimney. Nice guy. Their father was poor and couldn't afford dowreys. C'est la vie

So where did the white beard come from? Hmm. I wonder. :P

The Pagan Yule celebration was built around the idea that Odin and his followers rode through the night sky on a wild hunting trip. During this time, Odin led the other hunters and was often given one of his other names such as Jólnir (Yule Figure) or Langbarðr (Long Beard).

The notion was a magical god riding through the sky has been incorporated into the modern-day concept of St. Nicholas.

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Odin riding his eight legged horse into Hel (1908 Illustration by W.G. Collingwood)

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Odin the Wanderer 1886

Óðinn known as Odin, in Old Norse texts, Odin is given primacy over female beings associated with the battlefield—the valkyries—and himself oversees the afterlife location Valhalla, where he receives as einherjar, or chosen warriors, half of those who die in battle, while the other half are chosen by the goddess Freyja for her afterlife location, Fólkvangr.

The appearance of Santa Claus of Father Christmas, whose day is 25th of December owes much to Odin, the old blue hooded, cloaked, white-bearded Gift bringer of the north, who rode the mid-Winter sky on his eight-footed steed Sleipnir, visiting people with his gifts

.

Odin transformed into "Father Christmas", then Santa Claus, prospered with St. Nicholas, and the Christ child became a leading player on the Christmas stage.

Krampus_Morzger_Pass_Salzburg_2008_04.jp

An even more frightening variation on the evil Santa theme is Krampus, a demonic creature from pre-Christian times in Germany, Austria, Romania, and other Alpine nations in this area of Europe. This elf is generally pictured with the body of a man, but a head with goat horns, sharp teeth, and a white beard; sometimes the entire body of the creature is covered in fur. Traditionally the creature punishes bad children by throwing them into its sack and carting them back to its lair, possibly to eat them.

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A similar Tomte or Nisse is found in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway; Tomte/Nisse acts as the protector of rural households, living in the barn or outdoors. He often travels by riding the horse, goat or cat.

The Saint Nicholas Festival incorporates cultural elements widely distributed in Europe, in some cases going back to pre-Christian times. Nicholas himself became popular in Germany around the 11th Century.

The feast dedicated to this patron of children is only one Winter occasion in which children are the objects of special attention, others being Martinmas, the feast of the Holy Innocents, and New Year's Day.

Masked devils acting boisterously and making nuisances of themselves are known in Germany since at least the 16th Century while animal masked devils combining dreadful-comic (schauriglustig) antics appeared in Medival church plays. :P A large literature, much of it by European folklorists, bears on these subjuect.

Austrians in the community are quite aware of the "heathen" elements being blended with Christian elements in the Saint Nicholas customs and in other traditional Winter ceremonies.

1152px-Nikolaus_krampus.jpg

I see Saint Nicholas on the far right, playing good cop, some boy on the far left wetting his pants behind a chair. Krampus in front of Christopher with some figure in his goodie sack of something with a pitchfork. A lady very concerned for her children. And a man that is smoking some really good stuff on his pipe!

They believe Krampus as I listed above, derives from a pagan supernatural who was assimilated to the Christian devil. Good cop, Bad cop! And if you click on the image, his tongue is even longer than the tongue of Miley Cyrus!!! Amazing, n'est pa? :lol:

Even when Krampus isn't appearing in Christmas celebrations, some of his trappings are.

The notion of Santa carrying a bag of gifts from one home to the next comes from the Krampus tradition, as does the long white beard, and the belief that bad children may be punished (either through the withholding of gifts, or through the giving of switches or lumps of coal).

In short, our modern Santa has slowly morphed from a saintly man who gave gifts to the needy, into a Pagan monster disguised as a kind of figure, or (in the case of Kris Kringle) a substitute for the Christ child.

Edited by apantherfrommd

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