Week 8 History Task
L.O: To know the religious beliefs and practices of Anglo Saxon people.
The religion of the early Anglo-Saxon people was Paganism. Paganism is a polytheistic religion, which means many gods are worshipped. There were many Anglo-Saxon festivals throughout the year. During the festivals different gods were worshipped. The people would pray to the gods and make sacrifices of objects and animals. It is believed that bonfires were common during the festivals and that people would dance around or over them and throw herbs and other offerings into the flames.
Why do you think the Anglo-Saxon people made sacrifices to the gods?
Have a look at some of the Gods that the Anglo Saxon people worshipped before having a go at creating your own God!
- Woden was the chief of the Anglo-Saxon gods.
- He was the god of battle and war.
- Woden was also believed to be the observer of humans and the Anglo-Saxons thought he may visit them in disguise.
- His special animal was the wolf and he had two wolves as pets.
- His special object was a spear.
- The day of the week Wednesday was named after him.
- Frigg was the wife of Woden.
- She was the goddess of the household and childbirth and people would pray to her to ask for a good birth.
- Her name means ‘beloved’.
- Her symbols are the stork and the spinning wheel.
- The day of the week Friday is named after her.
- Thunor was the god of thunder. He is also known as Thor.
- Thunor was known as the protector of humans against threats.
- He has a hammer as his symbol.
- Goats are his special animal as they were believed to pull his chariot.
- Thunor was the son of Woden and Frigg.
- The day of the week Thursday is named after him.
- Tiw is another god of war.
- He is associated with being courageous and making sacrifices in battle.
- His special animal is the wolf.
- He is often shown with only one hand, as legend says a wolf bit off the other one.
- The day of the week Tuesday is named after him.
- Eostre was the goddess who was worshipped during Eostremonath (April).
- Eostremonath is associated with rebirth and the giving of eggs.
- Her symbol is the hare.
- People would pray to Eostre to ask for good fortune in the coming summer months.
- It is thought that Pagans offered hot cross buns to Eostre during Eostremonath and the four quarters represented the quarters of the moon.