The king slowly works his way through the crowd and into the lake. When the water hits his knees, the king stops, places his sword above his head and greets the gods. He then throws the sword deep into the lake where it instantly disappears. When the offering is over, everybody returns to the King's hall and the festivities can begin.
Offerings of this kind were usual in the Viking age. The Vikings were very keen to be on good standing with the gods and saw offerings of animals, weapons, figures and jewellery as a way to keep on the gods' good side.
The year had three major celebrations. Jól in January which later has developed into the Danish 'Jul' meaning Christmas where the offerings to the god secured the victory over winter's darkness. In April the Vikings celebrated the start of summer and offered to Njord and Odin to secure good sea voyages and victories in war. In October the Vikings celebrated the harvest and offered to Freyr thanking him for the years' harvest and animals.
Tissø in West Zealand can be translated to Tyr's lake. As a place to celebrate Tyr, the god of law and heroic glory, the lake is therefore place of many fantastic offer-finds, not only to Tyr but also to other Norse gods.
'Follow the Vikings' is a collection of ten small educational pieces on Vikings, published in Danish by forlagetepsilon.dk. The ten pieces are all linked with historical Viking sites in Denmark and therefore allow you to both figuratively and literally follow the Vikings.
• Follow the Vikings – The last journey
• Follow the Vikings – Castles
• Follow the Vikings – Playing
• Follow the Vikings – Hrólfr and Beowulf
• Follow the Vikings – A king and a ship
• Follow the Vikings – The everyday life
• Follow the Vikings – Ships
• Follow the Vikings – Kings
• Follow the Vikings – Rune stones