We will drench ourselves in the light of all things good: the warmth of the the fire, friendships, food and warm mead.
"Yule feast was great and an enjoyable way to mingle with other guests, strangers who became 'family' after a night of feasting, laughing and drinking warm mead."..... Cherry L, June 2018
Yule is the coming together of family and friends in celebration of winter nights and lighter days to come. It's a celebration of our favourite season, winter.
Yulefest at Valhalla is loosely based on the Viking's Feast of Juule (or Yule) and Winter Solstice. In true Viking spirit it is a time of feasting, fun and festivities. We'll deck the hall with Yuletide trimmings and feature themed yule dinners on specific dates, other dates can also be pre-arranged.
Experience the warmth of winter at Yulefest.
The feast of Yule will begin at 5pm in our spacious lounge with its' spectacular floor to ceiling panoramic views. Here by the fireside you can warm your sole with a complimentary glass of mead, the traditional drink of the Viking (for guests 18 years and over). Relax, chat and laugh with fellow guests as you nibble on the Scandinavian inspired version of our Valhalla Cheese Platter.
Will you be Snorre or Svanhild? Every guest will be given an honorary Viking name and can participate in ancient Viking games such as Hnefatafl and Runic readings. Be sure to make your wishes on our Yule Log Wish Sticks which will be set free when ignited at each Yule Feast.
The ringing of the bell will signify it's time to take your position in the cosy alpine Dining Hall of Valhalla. Here you will dine as a family of friends, enjoying a delicious three-course Viking inspired Yule themed dinner.
Sunday 9th June - Yule Dinner
Saturday 15th June - Yule Dinner
Saturday 22nd June - Winter Solstice Yule Dinner
Saturday 29th June - Yule Dinner
Sunday 7th July - Yule Dinner
* Other dates can be organised by special request
Decorating evergreen trees was a Viking ritual. The evergreen trees of the Scandinavian forests represented the promise of life even in the middle of winter. All other plants appeared dead but the evergreen still looked full of life, a seed to begin the new cycle symbolising the continuity of life.
A Yule log was set alight on Winter Solstice and burned down over many days until nothing but a small piece remained. This small piece was kept to be used as the lighter for the following year's Yule fire.
Holly leaves and berries would be used to make circular wreaths or Wheels of the Sun. They would be used to decorate houses and sometimes burnt and rolled down a hill. It was a promise of warmer days to come. A representation of the continuation of life and that winter flows into summer and back into winter again.
Midwinter is traditionally a time of feasting. History shows us that the Vikings enjoyed a midwinter celebration, giving thanks to Mother earth and the rebirth of the sun. The Feast of Juule was mainly centred around the Winter Solstice.
Winter Solstice is the shortest day in the year and marks the rebirth of the sun (new solar year). Days gradually become longer and nights become shorter. It was a time to count blessings from the previous year and encourage hope and prosperity in the new solar year.
It was believed that the last sheaf of harvested corn contained the power of that year's harvest. This cut of grain was made into a festive goat for Yuletide to keep the evil spirits at bay. Many different stories have evolved regarding the Julebukk (Yule Goat) with its' role seeming to change over the years.
Vikings liked to party, celebrations included days of feasting and drinking. Because it was so cold outside and the sea was not safe for sailing, winter activities would be mostly indoor. Yule offered a rare chance in the cold winter months for large gatherings, for competitions and games and for making plans for summer.
Vikings used skis, sleges and skates to get about in winter. Skiing was a very significant means of travelling, transport and hunting in the Viking Age.