Night and day in Norse mythology (Nótt & Dagr)

In Gods and Creatures by Skjalden

Night (Old Norse: Nótt) is a very beautiful giantess with skin and hair as dark as the night. She is the daughter of the jötunn Narfi (Nörvi), who is one of the first giants in Norse mythology. Nótt has been married three times, her first husband was Naglfari and they had a son together called Aud “Wealth”. Her second husband was Annar, and together they had a daughter named Jörð “Earth”.

Her third husband was an Aesir named Dellingr which means dawn, together they had a son named Dagr which means day. Dagr is bright and beautiful just like his father’s family.

Nótt and Dagr were both given a chariot and a horse by Odin, and put into the sky, to ride across the heavens until Ragnarök.

Dagr’s chariot is pulled by the horse Skinfaxi “Shining Mane”. Dagr and his horse are so bright, that they lighten the entire sky up as they travel across it. Nótt’s chariot is pulled by the horse Hrimfaxi “Frost Mane”. Every morning foam is falling down from Hrimfaxi, and lands in Midgard.

It is in the poem Vafϸrúðnismál, stanza 24 and 25, where Óthin (another name for Odin) asked the jötunn Vafþrúðnir from where the day and night originates from.

Óthin said:
Say thou this third,
in thy thought, if it dwells
and thou, Vafϸrúðnismá, dost wot:
whence the day springeth,
in the dales which shines,
and eke the night and new moon?
Vafϸrúðnismá said:
Is one Delling height,
he is Day’s father;
but Night was born to Nörvi,
Waxing and waning moon
the wise gods made
to tell the time for men.
– The Poetic Edda, Vafϸrúðnismál, stanza 24, 25.


Jesse Byock (2005) Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda. 1st. edition. London, England: Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN-13 978-0-140-44755-2

Lee M. Hollander (1962) The Poetic Edda. 15th. edition. Texas, USA: University Research Institute of the University of Texas. ISBN 978-0-292-76499-6

creation of the world norse mythology