Thousands gather to celebrate Viking culture

The finale of the York Viking Festival
The finale of the York Viking Festival
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it is a festival which draws 40,000 to the City of York.

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.

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.