Mead drinking was an essential aspect of Viking religion and culture. Mead was commonly drunk from a drinking horn, fashioned from the horn of a bull, as is depicted in many Viking carvings and artefacts, and also notably on the 11th century Bayeux tapestry.
Norse mythology very much confirms the idea that Vikings respected mead as a sacred beverage. Odin himself, as part of his quest to gain ultimate wisdom, stole the Mead of Inspiration from the Giant Suttungr, and escaped by transforming himself into an eagle. Thereafter the sacred mead of inspiration was reserved only for the gods and for those divinely gifted in poetry.
The Mead of Inspiration had been created from the blood of the divinely created Kvasir, who embodied all wisdom and knowledge of both the gods and giants. He was killed by the dwarves Fjalar and Galar who stored his blood in a cauldron known as Odrerir and mixed it with honey to create the magical mead. Subsequently they were forced to relinquish the sacred mead of inspiration to the giant Suttungr as compensation for killing his father.
Mead was also served to fallen warriors who had died bravely in battle, after being taken to Valhalla by the Valkyries to become one of the Einherjar. The Valkyries served this mead to the fallen warriors from drinking horns which were refilled endlessly from the teats of a magical goat called Heidrun.
Icelandic Viking sagas are also filled with tales of mead drinking, and of the offence implied by failing to serve mead to a thirsty guest. In sacred Norse ceremonies, drinking horns filled with mead were shared and passed around as part of the ritual, a drop always being left at the end for the gods.
Drinking horns were ritual objects, lavishly decorated, and considered to be much more than just vessels for consuming alcohol. Mead drinking formed an integral part of the Viking lifestyle and had a profound significance in their culture.
So when you drink mead from a drinking horn in the Viking style, you are reconnecting to the energy of ancient times and to the spirit of Odin, and perhaps you too will be inspired by this sacred beverage!
Here at the Viking Dragon we offer you Viking drinking horns beautifully hand-crafted in England from genuine ox horn. Either with a rustic finish or hand polished. We also offer custom made drinking horns with leather shoulder straps, belt hangers and runic rims as well as a large selection of ornamental horn finials in various Viking animal head designs to attach to the tip of your drinking horn and make it worthy to honour the gods!