History: The Vikings
Fun Facts About The Vikings
The Vikings were people who were really good with boats. They had very long and narrow boats that were called longships. These boats were also called “Dragonships” because they had giant wooded carvings of dragonheads on their boats.
The wooden dragonheads were lowered down in front of the ships when the Vikings were getting close to land. They put the heads out for everyone to see so they could intimidate, or scare the people that lived on the land. Also, the big longships were able to carry over a hundred people each.
When it came to learning about Viking history, there was one Viking helmet found in Norway. Interestingly, the helmet did not even have any horns on it. Most people today think of Vikings as having big helmets with large horns on either one or both sides on top.
Another fact that people usually do not consider is that the Vikings “found” America around 500 years before Christopher Columbus set sail. The Vikings were known to sail to different areas around them and try to make settlements. Then they would be able to trade with the others in the settlements to get the everyday things that they needed. Leif Erickson was the one who led the Viking sailors over to the land now known as America.
Throughout history, many cultures made it difficult for women to have a say so over the rules. The Vikings were not the same way. They had no problem with a woman running the house and even the farm areas because the men were away sailing most of the time. One major difference was that Viking woman could pick out any man they wanted to be their husband. Many cultures were, and still are, the opposite.
Like the type of religion in ancient Greece or Rome, the Vikings worshiped a various number of Gods and Goddesses. Their religion was an important part of everyday life. It was part of their home life and when they were away from home.
Since the Vikings were people who were known warriors, it makes sense that their version of heaven including fighting all day. If a Viking was a good and true warrior, then they would be able to go to Valhalla. After fighting all day long, their every night was spent eating and drinking like it was a party. This was called feasting.
One other note about the Vikings was that a famous leader, Eric the Red, tried to get people to settle up North so hard that he lied about it. Even though the land was crusted with cold ice and completely white with frozen snow, he called the area Greenland to trick others to come live there. Unfortunately, the only time there was actually anything green there was just a little green by the ocean during the peak of the summer.
Read about The Vikings in England for children here.
This is an original news article © The Kids Window
One in a series of articles about history, see our range of children's historical costumes.