October 20, 2022 2 min read

While the Vikings didn’t celebrate Halloween as we know it today, they did have a festival that fell around the end of October calledVetrnaetr, signifying the beginning of winter. And on their calendar, this eerie time of year was calledGormánuður or “Slaughter Month”!

So whether you’re planning to celebrateVetrnaetr, Gormánuður, or Halloween, here are some ideas to show your Viking side with face paintings! 

Viking female model with raven on her arm


The thing to remember when it comes to application is that these people were more likely than not applying this with their fingers, or using very rudimentary tools, so don’t be afraid to do the same! Applying face paint with your hands or basic brushes will get that signature Viking look, and it doesn’t take years of training to accomplish!


When it comes to choosing the color for your face paint, you can’t go wrong with earth tones. Think about what the Vikings had available, and choose accordingly!

As far as the basics go, you can’t go wrong with a very dark blue or black; but other common colors like red, orange, or offwhite are also within the scope you’re looking for.

Eye Marking

Travelers and traders lucky enough to encounter the Vikings on non-violent terms often describe dark markings worn around the eyes, so when painting your face with Vikings in mind, it’s almost a must to put at least a little something around the eyes.

From the heavier looks we see depicted in games and movies, to something a little more subtle, you can’t go wrong with darkening up the area around your eyes a bit.


One of the more popular looks from film, television, and gaming involves Norse designs, such as those we see on ships, or buildings, or runestones today.

A quick internet search will yield lots of ideas for Viking designs that you can translate into a fantastic painting on your face for this Halloween.

Since this kind of symbols is usually used for tattoos, a finer brush would be more appropriate to apply these designs to make sure you get those intricate details just right.

A woman with the rune "Algiz" on her forehead, symbolizing fate.

Runes and Symbols

One of the most iconic looks, and one you’ll have noticed in many of our pictures, is using runes and symbols!

Find the meaning behind each rune, and select what you feel is what you want to say. Do you want to invoke victory or protection? Trust to fate? Inspire wealth in your raid? Choose wisely, and find the perfect spot: this could be in the center of your forehead, under your eyes, on your chin, really anywhere! 

A woman with full Viking face paint

Get Creative

Now that you’ve got the basic toolbelt, it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to use! Mix and match, and put your own unique spin on it, as the Vikings surely would have themselves!

All in all, using these tools will help you get the look you’re after, and will be the finishing touch on a fantastic Viking-themed Halloween for this year!

And to complete the look, here is a selection of our most popular Viking/Norse costumes:

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