Viking Daily Life

Contrast to the popular image of the savage and brutal Viking warriors, the majority of the Vikings were ordinary farmers who just led the most peaceful life on their land. The Viking daily life contained within itself the stories of a long-gone culture.

Viking house

Nearly all the Viking houses were made of timber. The houses were long and rectangular. There were no chimneys in the Viking house. Instead, each house had a hearth from which the smoke could escape. Because there was no window, it was necessary that the Viking house have the hearth. The poor Viking families sometimes lived in a small house with a hearth at the center. The interiors and the furniture inside the house were quite dull. The only light came from the candles or single oil lamps. Day by day, the Viking people kept themselves busy with work such as cooking, brewing beverage, dyeing clothes, drying, or salting.

Viking Clothes

The Vikings wore simple and practical clothes. At that time, no many were wealthy enough to pay attention to beautify themselves. Rather, they would choose anything that could cover there body, provide them with enough warmth and protection. Viking men would wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts while Viking women would wear long dresses and often with an apron to keep them clean when doing the household chores. Their clothes were commonly made of woolen or linen cloth. When the weather turned cold, the Vikings wore cloaks. Their shoes were often made from leather.

Image of Viking daily life
Reconstruction of Viking life

Viking Food

The Vikings often grew barley, wheat, and rye. They loved to cook porridge and make bread. Sometimes, they add peas to the porridge. The Vikings also ate cabbages, onions, and herbs. On many plots of land, the Viking grew apples and plums. It seemed that the Vikings provided themselves with a very healthy source of food and they ate whatever the land provided them with. Fish and meat were another sources of energy and nutrition for the Vikings. The Vikings raised many types of cattle for example pigs, sheep, goats, horses, chicken, geese, etc.

The Vikings loved mead which was a type of drink made from honey, yeast, and water. They also drank beer and wine though these drinks were quite expensive.

Viking Writing System

The Vikings had a very old and mysterious writing system – runes. These were the letters that related to Odin the Allfather. However, the Viking did not use runes much for communication between human and human. They used runes to communicate with their Norse pantheon or Norse gods. They held a firm belief in the Norse pantheon and always wished for the deity presence in their life. We now uncover many runestones that assumingly recorded the events in the Viking age.

Image of runestone viking daily life

In Viking society, not many children could learn runes. Only the wealthy families afforded their children to learn. The Vikings especially respected those who could decipher runes.

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