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Read legend of the Thunder Oak, Scandinavian folk take or thunder oak story from Scandinavia, here.

Legend of the Thunder Oak

According to a Scandinavian folk tale, in the forests of the ancient Northland, there lived heathens who worshipped the war-god Thor. Human and animal sacrifices were offered to a giant tree known as the Thunder Oak that was considered the altar to Thor. The oak was believed to have grown up on human and animal blood. Mistletoes used to hang from its thick dark branches and it was so gloomy that not even beasts or birds dared to wander to the tree or live near it. One Christmas Eve, the forests were covered with deep snow. Thor's priests were preparing for the winter rites beneath the Thunder Oak and the mystic feast of the mighty Thor.

Sacrificial flames were lit and the human victims were waiting for their death at the hands of the white-robed priests, when Saint Winfred and his people made their appearance like a Christmas miracle and new life for them. Before anyone could realize what was happening, the saint drew out his shining axe and cut the oak tree from its very foundations. The heathens were too awed and shocked to even resist. The mighty oak fell backwards but what was more surprising was that a young fir just behind the tree remained unharmed. Saint Winfred then introduced the heathens to a new way of life.

He directed them to accept the fir as their holy tree. He preached them that fir is the tree of peace and it deserves to be worshipped for their houses were built of fir and thus, it gave them shelter. Fir also represented endless life and hope as it is an evergreen tree. It's spire points to heaven and thus, it was to be called the tree of the Christ Child. They were asked to keep the tree in their homes and make it holy not by bloodshed but by love, kindness and sharing gifts under it. Since then, the heathens accepted fir as the symbol of good will and peace and welcomed it in their homes every holy Christmastide.