Weird History

Unusual Viking Rituals That Might Surprise You

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Vote up the truly weird rituals the Vikings actually did - those you can't believe were really a thing.

There were some pretty unusual Viking rituals practiced from the late 8th century into the late 11th century. It’s no secret that Vikings were fierce warriors with a reputation for raiding nations and brutalizing their inhabitants. These intense, seafaring Scandinavians would slaughter dozens and perform some pretty severe ritualistic executions. What’s known is that the Viking age is littered with some extreme rituals from the Norse religion but also a few oddball traditions that Vikings practiced exclusively.  
 
These ruthless pirates had a softer side and a superstitious side as well. They believed in omens and used good luck charms. The same Norse Paganism that instilled their sacrificial practices also taught them to respect the land. They were productive farmers and enjoyed activities such as skiing and crafting. Women were highly respected and wielded a great deal of power within their society, which was rare for the time. They lived in a well-ordered democratic society that just happened to partake in terrifying Norse rituals from time to time. 

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