For Pagans and Heathens looking to celebrate Jule according to Old Norse traditions the options can be limited, even in Minnesota where cultural diversity means you’re of German descent instead of Norwegian or Swedish.
If a Juletide celebration is something you crave, mark December 18th on your calendar. Guests pick a rune as they come through the door, listen to the stories of the season, dance in a circle of community, and feast and toast to one another in the Old Norse way. You’ll also be treated to performances by Kari Tauring and Carol Sersland.
Kari Tauring says dance parties are an ancient way for a community to affirm and build their relationships with one another. “Dancing in a circle, arms linked and singing together is a way to share the mott and meign, physical space and energy,” says Tauring. She notes that circle dances are intergenerational and much more ancient than couples dances and are important to the celebration, along with other activities you’ll experience that night, ” These celebrations have formal and formulaic rituals that bind the community together through gift-giving, food-sharing, making toasts, and singing and dancing together.”
Jultide Program Includes:
- Each attendee receives a rune on a string jule gift at the door of the Hall.
- Opening Toast and Special Program by Kari Tauring, Carol Sersland, Stavers in the House, and recent workshop attendees.
- Integrative Ring Dances
- Ritual “Vaes du Hael” (Old Norse for “To Your Health”): a three-part toast to the yard (outside the building/house), the doors of the house (Tapestry Folk Dance Center), and then finally the Hall (the doors of the large studio space).
- Grand Entrance – a longdans that leads us back onto the dance floor.
- Lighting the rune tree and calling with runes and stavs
- Children’s Circle Dances
- Community Circle Dance and Farewell Song
- Guests may bring treats to share
Organizers say that everyone is welcome and ask attendees to bring their dancing shoes as the shoes you wear to the Hall cannot be worn inside.