The Vikings have long been a source of fascination and mystery. From the epic sagas of the Norse gods to the raiders of the North Sea, the Vikings have an enduring presence in the world’s imagination. The truth is, though, that much of what we know about the Vikings is based on myths and speculation. To help separate fact from fiction, here are the Top 10 Facts about Vikings. Learn about their culture, their ships, their conquests, and see just how far their influence spread.
1. Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets.
In lots of pictures Vikings are wearing horned helmets, especially when they were in battle.
There is actually no evidence that they wore horns so it’s unlikely they had them on their helmets!Embed from Getty Images
2. Vikings didn’t call themselves Vikings.
They didn’t call themselves Vikings. This name came later down the line.
The Vikings called themselves Ostmen and were also known as Norsemen, Norse and Danes.
3. They loved blonde hair!
You might not think Vikings cared about their appearance but they did!
They really liked blonde hair and found a way to dye it.
There were no hairdressers back then and so they used soap with something called lye in it which would lighten their hair.
4. Vikings made their own boats and ships.
The Vikings were brilliant at making boats and ships.
Their longboats could fit 60 people in at a time which was very impressive in those times.Embed from Getty Images
5. The Vikings worshipped Gods!
The main Viking Gods were Odin, Thor and Frey.
Odin was the God of wisdom and war, Thor was the God of thunder and protector of mankind and Frey was the god of fertility.
It is believed that they liked to worship the Gods in the open air, in natural landmarks.Embed from Getty Images
6. What does Viking mean?
Old Norse was the language that Vikings used.
In the Old Norse language ‘Viking’ meant ‘pirate raid’!
7. The days of the week are named after Viking Gods.
Yes, some of our days of the week are named after Viking Gods!
Odin, known as Woden, gave us the word Wednesday.
Tuesday and Friday are named after Tyr and Frigg.
Thursday was named after Thor!Embed from Getty Images
8. Vikings loved to eat fish!
One of the main foods in the Viking’s diet was fish.
This is because they lived near the sea!
When it was warm outside they would hang the fish up to dry and eat it at a later date.
Embed from Getty Images
9. Viking funerals were like no other.
When an important Viking died, they would be given a funeral ceremony like no other.
They would be put on their boat with all of their belongings, including their animals and then would be pushed out to sea.
It would also be on fire!Embed from Getty Images
10. Some of the words we use today come from the Old Norse language.
Some of the words we use come from the Vikings.
For example snort, lump, scrawny and anger.
Have you ever heard anyone use the word ‘beserk’?
This comes from the terrifying Viking warriors who wore animals skins and howled when they went to battle. They were called ‘beserkers’.
The characters in the How To Train Your Dragon films are all vikings. Click here to see when Bex met the film’s stars
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