When: 12th – 18th February 2018
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
Hordes of Viking warriors will be invading the city of York this month, along with musicians, birds of prey and archaeologists, as the annual JORVIK Viking Festival takes place.
The Norse raids will begin on Monday 12th February, culminating in a live-action battle with pyrotechnics in the Eye of York on Saturday 17th February, recreating the first invasion of the Great Viking Army in AD866.
The 2018 JORVIK Viking Festival will be the first since the reimagined JORVIK Viking Centre opened last year, and will be taking York’s Norse history right back to its ‘origin’ story; the invasion of the Anglo Saxon city of Eoforwic by the Great Viking Army on 1st November 866.
Indeed, some of the spoils of pillage will be on display at the JORVIK Viking Centre, with a collection from the Watlington Hoard. During the festival, one of the world’s leading experts on the Vikings, Gareth Williams from the British Museum, will host an after-hours tour of the attraction, with a talk about the hoard on Thursday 15th February.
For those more interested in seeing some military prowess, there will be Vikings a-plenty around the city, with have-a-go archery and sword-fighting workshops throughout the week in Parliament Street, alongside a Viking encampment and the annual parade of Vikings through the city of York. One of the highlights will be a column of warriors stretching from one end of the city to the other on Saturday 17th February.
New for 2018 will be an animal steading (or Viking farm), with birds of prey, at JORVIK’s sister site, DIG in St Saviourgate. Try an evening of mead tasting with the Lancashire Mead Company on Wednesday 14th February at Barley Hall or Viking Age Crafting in the Festival Yurt on Parliament Street. Here, visitors can try their hands at a range of Norse-inspired crafts, from pottery to pole-lathe necklace making, each day from 10am to 4pm in St Sampson’s Square.
Quirky favourites, the Strongest Viking Competition and the Best Beard Competition return to Coppergate Square (outside JORVIK) to entertain the crowds with cheeky Viking humour on Saturday 17th February. Also back by popular demand will be Poo Day at Barley Hall on Monday 12th February; offering visitors the chance to explore the messier side of archaeology by recreating their own turd, and discovering how poo helps archaeologists solve historical mysteries.
Those fascinated by the academic side of York Archaeological Trust’s Viking work can hear from top experts at the Richard Hall Symposium on Sunday 18th February, looking at beliefs and rituals in the Viking World.
More info: www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk