Midtvinter, Midwinters Day
Updated: Apr 27
Whatever you do, don't wake the bear!!!
The 12 January is Midwinters Day on the Primstav (Nordic Runic calendar). The day signifies the half way point from the start of the winter side on the primstav on 14 October and the start of the summer side on 14 April and is a turning point in the year that means that soon we will be able to turn the primstav to the summer side. Midwinters Day is very much a pagan ritual and has nothing at all to do with the church calendar. The celebration of the day dates back to pre-Christian times, and was actually "gamle nyttårsdag", old New Years Day. It was said that "today half the winter passes but the greatest cold remains", reminding us that here in Norway, the coldest months are often January and February.
The day is marked by the symbol of the snowflake. But is the bear that is the important animal on this day. It is said that the bear in it's den turns from one side to the other at this time. It's is also thought to be particularly wary of sounds today and it's dangerous to wake it. If you do happen to wake a bear on Midwinters Day you could talk nicely to it or pretend to be clumsy.
Don't forget to also be cautious of the supernatural beings that live in streams, rivers and springs today. But maybe we should always be aware of them.....