York, JORVIK Viking Festival

The JORVIK Viking Festival in York

JORVIK Viking Festival
York (North Yorkshire county)

Europe’s largest Viking Festival: a city-wide, week-long celebration of York’s rich Norse heritage. An exciting programme of events explores the impact of the Viking invasion and conquest of England by the Great Viking Army in AD 866 on Anglo-Saxon England. Living history encampments, walks, talks, tours and dramatic combat performances and much more…

Geographical, cultural and historical context

York is situated on a terminal moraine left by the last Ice Age in a fertile cultivated plain bordered by the low-rising mountains range of the Pennines, the heather moorland of the North York Moors, and the low hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. The city, founded by the ancient Romans in AD 71, developed as a flourishing colony under the name of Eboracum. After the fall of the Roman Empire York was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century reviving as a trading river port by name Eoforwic, before being conquered in November AD 866 by the "Great Heathen Army" of Danish Vikings. The city, renamed Jorvik, became then the capital of a mighty Viking kingdom and a major port along their trading routes in northern Europe. The rich heritage of the city includes the York Minster (the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe), the building complex of the York Castle with the medieval walls (one of the most complete and well preserved in England), the reconstructed medieval house Barley Hall, the National Railway Museum, and the JORVIK Viking Centre a museum which organizes a annual Viking Festival.

Event description and programme

The JORVIK Viking Festival is a long-established festival that takes place in the second week of February and celebrates the town Viking heritage involving the local people as well as hundreds of reenactors and volunteers from all over the world. The festival is set up in tradition of an ancient festival known as "Jolablot" and held by the Vikings of York in February to celebrate the end of the winter hardships and herald the coming of spring.

The programme includes several spectacular and cultural activities, like full-scale battle reenactments, river racing in replica of Viking longships, a traditional Viking wedding ceremony, historical parades, many leisure and educational activities for children, as well as conferences and lectures, arts & crafts exhibitions, medieval market, historical camps with daily life and combat displays, workshops, saga-telling, dance and music shows, historical banquets in Scandinavian style, guided tours at the local archaeological excavations and through the old town, and, last but not least, historical and traditional local cuisine. Headline of the event is the atmospheric coronation ceremony of King Erik Bloodaxe, the last Viking ruler, in the majestic setting of the York Minster and a candlelit procession with hundreds of Viking guards and the queen accompanied by her ladies in waiting.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Official website: http://www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk/

JORVIK Viking Centre
Address: Coppergate, York, YO1 9WT, England
Tel.: +44 (0) 1904 615505
E-mail: jorvik@yorkat.co.uk
Web: http://www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk/

Image: pictures ©www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk - photocollage © www.historiavivens.eu
Text sources: Wikipedia, Jorvik Viking Centre

York on Google Maps:



Video reportages and promos of the event:

In February 2017 Vikings from across the world descended on York for a week-long celebration of the last Viking King in York, Eric Bloodaxe at JORVIK Viking Festival. With an exciting programme of events inspired by this Norse monarch including; living history encampments, talks and of course dramatic combat performances there was something for everyone.


2016 celebrated the milennial anniversary of the crowning of King Canute, the Viking Warrior who became the first Viking King of England and leader of a North Sea Empire. This year's Viking Festival celebrated the life and legacy of this overlooked monarch, with live combat, talks from experts & academics and a stunning finale recreating the Battle of Assandan and Canute's coronation as Viking King...



In the video below the 30th JORVIK Viking Festival - 15th to 23rd February 2014, a video reportage of all the action from the 30th festival, when over 40,000 people from all over the world visited York for a nine day celebration of the city's Viking heritage. The 2014 festival counted down to the Norse apocalypse, Ragnarok, with a dazzling finale event on the evening of Saturday 22nd February when the fall of the Vikings Gods was re-enacted!


The JORVIK Viking Festival 2010 film: 


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