I firmly believe that our troth is a living tradition that takes on the needs of our time. Vårblotet, or the Spring Blót, is a part of that living tradition. You won’t find Vårblotet listed in any book on Ásatrú or Heathenry because it is a custom that originates in my home. While it does have some similarities to Eostre, it is not held in honor of the Anglo-Saxon goddess from whom that holiday gets its name. Vårblotet is a celebration of Spring and the re-awakening of the land; a celebration of warmer weather, flowers starting to bud, birds starting to sing, and all the signs that the world around us is waking up again. It is a celebration to encourage the landvættir to wake up and bring new life to the world around us. It is a time to make noise and be filled with joy and happiness. The days grow longer, sun shines brighter, the days grow warmer, and it is time to celebrate! Blessings are made for a good year and for frith.
Now, I fully admit that I can see why people might think I’m out of my mind here. This isn’t a “traditional” or documented holiday from any of the Scandinavian or Germanic lands. It is, quite clearly, a modern celebration. I’m sure a lot of people are asking “Why not just celebrate Eostre?” The truth is, I’m not Anglo-Saxon nor am I a pan-Germanic Heathen. Eostre, like Saxnot and other Anglo-Saxon deities, aren’t worshipped in my home. The celebration that I call Vårblotet is a family thing and it’s derived from family traditions, some American “Easter” traditions, the old Norse sigrblót, and our own ideas. I don’t expect others to think it’s “the greatest thing ever.” I don’t expect anyone to adopt it for themselves, although I would be flattered if some of these ideas gave others inspiration for creating their own family tradition. This is the custom of my home. It fills a need for my family and friends. It is a part of the living tradition that is our Heathen troth, no more and no less.
There is no question in my mind that our ancient ancestors had their own private customs that were only celebrated by those who lived in that home. Being part of a living faith means that we adapt things to our needs, our modern cultures, and our national and regional environments. If we do not, we run the risk of becoming wholly dogmatic. I hope is that my sharing this will give others something to think about and maybe consider what place family celebrations have in their homes.
Update: The Internet has schooled me but good. When I returned to the Elder Troth in 1997 I started a journey that would get me back in touch with my Swedish roots in ways I could not imagine. It seems the Gods have seen fit to remind me of that once again. It has only been for a few years that I’ve celebrated Vårblotet, a name that, at the time, I thought I was making up based on my very minimal ability with Swedish and from a few words I recall from childhood. It turns out, much to my pleasant surprise, that I must have “tuned in” to something deep in the primal layers of “Swedish-ness.” I just learned that the Samfundet Forn Sed Sverige in Sweden have been celebrating this for over a decade. Here is a link to the Swedish Wikipedia page on Vårblot. I can honestly say that I am fully gobsmacked by this revelation.