A fascinating discovery is shedding light upon pre-Christian Scandinavian religion and early Christian inroads into Norway. In the Norwegian press, this highly important find is being called “unparalleled,” “first of its kind” and “unique,” said to have been “deliberately and carefully hidden” - from invading and destructive Christians.
Located at the site of Ranheim, about 10 kilometers south of the Norwegian city of Trondheim, the astonishing discovery was unearthed while excavating foundations for new houses and includes a “gudehovet” or “god temple.” Occupied from the 6th or 5th century BCE until the 10th century AD/CE, the site shows signs of usage for animal sacrifice, a common practice among different peoples in antiquity, including the biblical Israelites. (E.g., Num 7:17-88) Over 1,000 years ago, the site was dismantled and covered by a thick layer of peat, evidently to protect it from marauding Christian invaders. These native Norse religionists apparently then fled to other places, such as Iceland, where they could re-erect their altars and re-establish the old religion.
Trondheim was named Kaupangen (English: market place or trading place) by Viking King Olav Tryggvason in 997. Fairly soon, it came to be called Nidaros. In the beginning it was frequently used as a military retainer (Old Norse: “hird”-man) of King Olav. It was frequently used as the seat of the king, and was capital of Norway until 1217.
People have been living in the region for thousands of years as evidenced by the rock carvings in central Norway, the Nøstvet and Lihult cultures and the Corded Ware culture. In ancient times, the Kings of Norway were hailed at Øretinget in Trondheim, the place for the assembly of all free men by the mouth of the river Nidelva. Harald Fairhair (865–933) was hailed as the king here, as was his son, Haakon I – called ‘the Good’. The battle of Kalvskinnet took place in Trondheim in 1179: King Sverre Sigurdsson and his Birkebeiner warriors were victorious against Erling Skakke (a rival to the throne).
Trondheim was the seat of the (Catholic) Archdiocese of Nidaros for Norway from 1152. Due to the introduction of LutheranProtestantism in 1537, the last Archbishop, Olav Engelbrektsson, had to flee from the city to the Netherlands, where he died in present-day Lier, Belgium.
On the night from the 12th to the 13th it is in Norwegian folklore also Lussi night, when vetter, tomter, spirits and other beings are particularily active, and the animals can talk, like on Yule night and Christmas night.
One of the origins of this holiday is that this is an old solstice celebration remnant on the 13th, that because of the changing of calendars(gregorian and julian?) is now eight days before solstice.
A female being named Lussi represents the darkness, and on the day after, Lucia represents the light that returns.
It is said in folktales that Lussi leads the Lussiferda on Lussi night. Lussiferda has many similarities to the Wild Hunt, and has sometimes also been called Oskoreia/Ásgardsreia.