What do rainbows, Vikings, and Thursday have in common?
As many of you know, on January 25th we are hosting the third annual ONCE in Valhalla. Don't have your tickets yet? What are you waiting for! Get them here, because this ONCE blends locavorism with ancient lore to create an unforgettable, all-you-can-eat feast set in the mythical palace of the gods, Valhalla. If you’re new to ONCE in Valhalla, or your memories of Odin and Loki are a bit rusty, the time has come for a crash course in Scandinavian mythology to prepare you for the upcoming festivities.
Scandinavian myths have elements reminiscent of creation stories and the sagas of Greek mythology, but the Nordic myths are deeply rooted in the natural world. Quite literally, an enormous ash tree, named Ygdrasill, was believed to support the universe with its three giant roots. One root extends into Jotenheim (the abode of the giants) one root supports Niffleheim (the realm of darkness and cold), and the other stretches into Asgard (the dwelling of the gods). Asgard can only be reached by crossing the rainbow bridge Bifrost. Asgard is filled with grand palaces, but the most beautiful one of all is the one belonging to the god Odin. Odin has three sons, the eldest and strongest of the gods is named Thor. It is from Thor’s name that we derive our word Thursday. The god Odin regulates day, and night, and season by appointing sun and moon their proper places in heaven, allowing vegetables to sprout and grew. His palatial hall is called Valhalla, and it is here that our story takes place.
The Vikings believed that when they fell in battle they would be swept up by Valkyries (Odin’s messangers) and carried up the rainbow bridge to Valhalla. In Valhalla the fallen heroes would fight all day, honing their battle skills, but at night they embraced and headed to the hall's long tables to eat, drink, sing and dance. They drink mead from the she-goat Heidrum, and eat the flesh of the boar Schrimnir; although the boar is cooked every morning, he becomes whole again each night.
Stay tuned for more myths, music, and mead, and we can't wait to raise a glass with you on January 25th when Cuisine En Locale and A.R.T. take you back in time to ancient Asgard in ONCE in Valhalla. Garrrr!