When we think of Norway, one image that may come to mind is that of fire: crackling logs keeping snowbound communities warm, as they tell tales of Vikings scorching the villages of the North. However, in this BBC Radio 3 broadcast, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough takes a deeper look at the more complex role played by fire throughout Nordic culture, past and present.
From the million people who tune to watch a television broadcast of a burning fire to those who build the largest bonfire in the world, which is lit in Summer to celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, people in Norway are drawn to fire for different reasons. Uniting them, though, the cultural importance of fire can perhaps be traced back to the burning flames of Ragnarok, the world apocalypse recorded in old Norse sagas and poetry.
If you enjoyed this programme, why not listen to some of Eleanor’s other radio talks about Vikings and the world of Northern literature.
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