Jorvik Viking Festival: Nordic hordes return to York

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image source, Jorvik Viking Festival

image caption, Officials say the event will include banquets, battles, workshops and more.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to York as Europe’s biggest Viking festival returns to the city.

The annual city-wide festival themed around Nordic history runs until February 18th.

Organizers said the event included Saga-themed storytelling sessions, battle displays and a Viking encampment.

The festival’s Jay Commins said hundreds of Viking warriors would march through the city “shouting, roaring and clanging their shields.”

Image source, Jorvik Viking Festival

image caption, Previous festivals in York culminated in a boat going up in flames

In an interview with BBC Radio York, Mr Commins said the city’s Parliament Street would be taken over by the festival “with tents going up from one end to the other”.

Visitors can also see historical reenactors and craft demonstrations, along with a Viking wood lathe that uses “a bent branch with a rope attached to a spindle.”

Mr Commins said visitors could also see the “only Viking sock” found in the city’s Coppergate area.

“This is a unique historical discovery,” he said.

“Who would have thought that Viking Age wool would survive underground?”

image source, Jorvik Viking Festival

image caption, Organizers say the festival will also feature the turning of wooden bowls on a Viking lathe.

Meanwhile, the festival attracted participants willing to march from Ipswich to York to take part in the activity.

image source, Jorvik Viking Festival

image caption, The event will see hundreds of Viking re-enactors parade from York Minster to the Coppergate.

On the penultimate day of the festival, a “spectacular procession of hundreds of Vikings”, from warriors to civilians, will march through the city.

“It was truly heart-pounding to see battalion lines of Vikings as far as the eye could see, screaming, roaring, and pounding their shields,” Commins said.

The festival is funded by York Archaeology, the archaeological and educational charity.

Officials said they were “well aware” of the impact of the cost of living crisis.

“At a time when families are struggling to make ends meet, we want to help people enjoy culture,” said Commins.

“We get paid to attend the event, but if you don’t have spare change in your pocket, it doesn’t matter. You can come and immerse yourself in Scandinavian culture.”

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