When: 15th – 23rd February 2014
Where: At venues across York, North Yorkshire
£: Ticket prices vary depending on the event – see www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk/tickets for details.
What is it?
It may be nearly 1150 years since the Vikings first sailed up the river Ouse to first conquer and then settle in the area now known as the city of York, but 2014 marks a significant landmark in the modern Viking story. Taking place across nine days from 15th – 23rd February 2014, the 30th JORVIK Viking Festival takes its theme from the oldest of Viking myths and legends, bringing together the Norse gods, magical creatures from generations of sagas and a horde of Viking warriors.
Throughout the week, JORVIK’s warriors will be training children in combat skills at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. York Guildhall will also hosts a number of combat events, including a full week of performances in a Myths & Legends Combat Arena. Each day recreating a different saga with readings, dramatic reconstructions and a host of fighting to create a spell-binding storytelling experience. There will be lectures and tours, based on the rich Viking heritage of the city of York – then known as Jorvik – of which a large area was discovered beneath Coppergate during excavations during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
JORVIK Viking Festival 2014 highlights will include:
Meet the Experts: Hidden Treasures (Tuesday 18th February): Join the experts from York Archaeological Trust and get a look at some of the fascinating medieval artefacts found on excavations across York over the last 40 years. These secret treasures are taking on a new lease of life in the digital age through a new archaeological scanning project. This is a chance to get up close and ask questions.
Beowulf by Candlelight (Thursday 20th February): A retelling of the classic Norse saga performed by Peter Carrington-Porter. Hosted in the atmospheric settings of St Helen’s Church, and lit entirely by candles, this promises to be a spell-binding evening transporting those attending back to the mysterious world of Norse monsters and myths.
Poo Day Activities (Thursday 20th February): Learn more about the muckier side of archaeology and have a go at making your very own replica historic poo. Discover how poo is used to solve ancient mysteries.
Viking Banquet at York Minster (Friday 21st February): The Vikings knew how to throw a feast, but this evening will surely rival those hosted by even the most powerful Viking lords! Taking place within the North Transept of the gothic cathedral – the site of which was gifted to the Dean & Chapter of York by the Viking Jarl Ulph – this is an unforgettable evening of live music and entertainment, hosted by fearsome Viking warriors.
The Strongest Viking Competition (Saturday 22nd February): The leaders of the Vikings, like their gods, shared two characteristics; strength and determination. This competition will put modern pretenders to the test, with competitors invited from around the world to prove their might!
Ragnarok (Saturday 22nd February): The ultimate event for any celebrations of Norse mythology. Ragnarok is a live battle spectacular, complete with nearly 300 Viking warriors, a host of Norse gods, and fireworks set to a contemporary musical score, which tells the story of the fall of the gods.
Best Beard Contest (Saturday 22nd February): Entering its 7th year, this whimsical and fun competition has become something of a cult highlight, drawing huge crowds and some very competitive participants! Young or old, male or female, all are encouraged to enter and try to win the highly prized beard trophies.
Other highlights will include JORVIK Alive! on Tuesday 18th February. A unique experience with the state-of-the-art animatronic characters which populate JORVIK Viking Centre’s recreation of the tenth century Viking city. Joined by live actors, this event will truly bring history to life. Those who like their Vikings on the big screen can enjoy special showings of movies including the two superhero “Thor” films at York CityScreen.
More info: www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk