Quandary: Who is Ullr? | SummitDaily.com

Quandary: Who is Ullr?

Ullr, the Norse god of snow, reigns supreme in Breck during January with his own parade and festival.
Mark Fox / special to the daily |

Who is Ullr?

Was he the founder of No Shave November? Or the first to adorn a hat with horns? Probably not, but Marvel fans can still rejoice! The great Ullr comes from a blended family, according to Norse mythology; he is the son of Sif and stepson to Thor. When it comes to a new daddy, you could do a heck of a lot worse than a demi-god, though I’m sure there were still issues — Ullr leaving skates around the house, the question of whether it’s appropriate to have hammers around small children. You know, the usual stuff.

One way or another, Ullr grew into his own, and grew up to become the Norse god of winter. Some Norse mythologists also credit him as the god of snow and skiing, which was enough to make him a major god in early paganism and in Breckenridge. There’s a legend that Ullr would ski the entire world, coating it with snow each year, as he was the only god who knew how to ski.

It’s possible this old goat has seen the mighty Ullr laying tracks, but in Summit, it’s hard to say for sure. Here you can often find a Viking, or horde of them, gliding down the mountain, maybe even accompanied by a banana and a gorilla. Regardless, each year Breckenridge hosts a festival in January to help welcome the tidings of winter and to honor Ullr.

Ullrfest has occurred in early January every year since 1963, and this year marks no exception.

Vikings, shot-skis, flying fry pans and floats will line the streets of Breck from Jan. 13-16, as a new king and queen reign over the Kingdom.

Call it a silly superstition if you will, but it never hurts to hedge some bets and suck up to the snow god. This proves especially important in a place where snow dominates the landscape for at least six months a year and lures visitors from around the world to rip through its powder. So next time you hit the slopes, take a turn for Ullr — and tip your cap to Thor for helping to raise such a fine young god.

A NOTE ON MOLYBDENUM… Apologies for some misinformation in a previous Quandary question. Molybdenum is not an alternative energy source, however its value tends to fluctuate with the price of oil because of its use in making specialty steels used for drilling and because of its use in processes prior to refining and reforming oil. Thank you to our friends at Freeport-McMoRan for their help with this clarification, and if you’d like more information on the uses of molybdenum and alternative energies check with the The International Molybdenum Association.

Quandary, a wise old mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to any question about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Send an email to quandary@summitdaily.com

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