Thousands gather to celebrate Viking culture

it is a festival which draws 40,000 to the City of York.

The finale of the York Viking Festival
The finale of the York Viking Festival

More than 1,000 followed the Jorvik Viking Festival parade and battle in the Eye of York today.

The week-long celebration of all things Norse drew visitors from all over the world to make it the largest Viking festival in Europe.

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Festival director Danielle Daglan said: “The Jorvik Viking Festival was launched back in 1984, and has gone from strength to strength each year – children who attended our early festivals are now bringing their children back for a taste of the Viking life.

“We make sure that the week has something for everyone, from free encampments, parades and activities to our spectacular grand finale event, a dramatic live combat event with music and fireworks.”

Other attractions during this year’s event included a Viking banquet, best beard contest and Brawl at the Guildhall which was a strongest Viking competition.

Beowulf by Candlelight, a retelling of the Beowulf story by Peter Carrington-Porter, was also held while a programme of lectures and talks by academics provided an insight into what we know about the Norse invaders, from their language to their poetry.