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The pagan Anglo-Saxons followed a calendar with twelve lunar months, with the occasional year having thirteen months so that the lunar and solar alignment could be corrected.

Bede claimed that the greatest pagan festival was Modraniht (meaning Mothers’ Night), which was situated at the Winter solstice, which marked the start of the Anglo-Saxon year, around December 25th.

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Cultic practices required demonstrations of devotion, including sacrifice of inanimate objects and animals, to these deities, particularly at certain religious festivals during the year.

Some used timber temples but many were open-air using cultic trees and megaliths.

This was a variant of the Germanic paganism found across much of north-western Europe encompassing a wide mix of beliefs and cultic practices, dating from the Iron Age, with wide regional variations.

The nature of Anglo-Saxon paganism or pre-Christian belief systems was best defined by neighboring peoples such as the Norse.

The Rus, who were Norse traders living on the River Volga in what is now Russia describe the funeral of one of the Rus leaders as, “When the man of whom I have spoken died, his girl slaves were asked, “Who will die with him?

Last modified 17-Apr-2020 03:15