Winter rules in the lands of the north
Solstice is upon us
Feed the light
The shortest day of the year is drawing to an end, and before us lies the longest night. It is a time to feed the light through fire and ceremony. Life is reliant on light. This night marks the return of the light. The days will now grow longer again.
Til árs ok friðar
Til árs ok friðar means for year and peace. In modern Danish is looks like this: Til år og fred. Not that far from the original Norse, eh? It is a formulaic expression often used in connection with celebrations like blóts (offering ceremonies). The concept is basically one of giving thanks for fertility and abundance. (Source; Danish)
When Norse has an accent over a vowel it indicates that the vowel sound is long. Skál is skål in all modern Scandinavian languages and it simply means cheers as in raise your glass – or horn, or whatever vessel you fancy – and drink to life, family, good friends etc. An expression still very much in use today.
Photo by Jan Erik Einarsen, Norway