YORK has taken a turn for the Norse as a celebration of the city’s Scandinavian history begins.
A display of roar power signalled the start of the 30th Jorvik Viking Festival in Coppergate on Saturday as the first warriors set up camp, complete with a fully-equipped longship and an array of ancient myths and legends.
The week of festival events – many of them free - builds up to the discovery this Saturday of whether the prediction of Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse, will come true.
The day itself will see the “ultimate battle” between rival tribes, and Vikings will be offering advice on how to prepare for the clash with sword combat sessions for youngsters every day at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall.
Experienced warriors will be in combat at Guildhall and activities include animation workshops, author talks, candlelit storytelling and archaeology lectures.
The Jorvik Viking Centre will recreate a Viking-age street where remains of Norse-era Coppergate were found tomorrow evening through the JORVIK Alive! event.
The festival’s Saturday finale will see about 300 warriors gather in Dean’s Park for a march through the city from 1.30pm, before massing at the Eye of York at 6.45pm for the climactic battle.
Festival director Danielle Daglan said: “Our celebrations also mark Jolablot, the Viking feast to hail the coming of spring which, to many people, is the annual rebirth of the world.”
Full event and booking details are available at jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk and by phoning 01904 615505.