Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Viking Life

We were suppose to go to York this weekend and attend the Viking Festival but due to circumstances beyond our control we were unable to attend. Big disappointment for everyone! My husband is a member of Regia Anglorum which is a reenactment group that specializes in the 10/11th century Saxon, Viking and Norman peoples. My husband has been participating in this group for almost 2 years and has really enjoyed it. Regia has many local groups across the British isles and even in America. Grantanbrycg is the local group that my husband participates in and they were, along with all the other groups in England, going to converge in York for a huge battle re enactment and ship burning. It is a lot of fun!

Here are a few pictures from last year.

Practice battle on the castle grounds

Hubby in his battle gear next to the castle wall
(which is one of my favorite pictures) and then lying dead in the battle field.

A parade thru the streets of York in various costumes

Yelling as they march, here hubby is looking very fierce:)

There are lots of activities planned for the festival such as living history encampments, crafts of the time period, huge vendor markets as well as the famous Jorvik Viking Center. Since that was our first year attending I didn't get good pictures of those events but I have some other pictures of different events my husband has participated in over the past year.

The encampment site at Broadstairs last year.

There are various crafts and life activities happening. My daughter has gotten very good at playing 9 Man Morris which is an old game sort of like chess. There are many hands on activities the public can experience.

A scaled down replicate of a Viking Long ship.

Some shows end with a ship burning ceremony which re enacts how some vikings would send fallen warriors off to Valhalla after a battle. It is always poplar with the public!

A ship is built and covered with the shields of the fallen warriors.

The parade down to the beach to say farewell to the fallen. Fire arrows are shot at the boat to set it on fire

The ship burns to the ground and then the Valkyries arrive to carry the souls of the brave warriors to Oden's Feasting Hall.

For those who did not fall bravely their souls would be taken to Niflheim, the frozen wasteland which served as the equivalent of hell.

As a family we have learned so much about this area of history and have enjoyed seeing the performances and many in these groups do their absolute best to make sure everything is as authentic in as much as possible. This spring the rest of the family is planning on joining my husband in his group and learn how to be the wife and children of this era.

For those interested in this period of history, I recommend the author Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales series, which is historical fiction set around the time of Alfred the Great and the Viking invasions of the British Isles.


  1. Great pics! These events look so fun and interesting. That's neat that your husband reenacts, and the whole family gets to watch and be part of things. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Wow, this is so cool. I wish we had something like this. It really bring history alive when you get to see and interact with it. I'm sorry you guys could not attend this year.

  3. Just awesome Anna-Marie! It looks like a lot fun especially since the whole family can learn and play all at the same time! Just from your pictures from last year, I can see why you were so disappointed not to be able to attend this year! :( Hopefully, next time it will all work out :) Thanks for sharing all your amazing adventures! Clicked a vote for you today!

  4. Thanks Renee Ann
    It is a great site to see. We love history as a family and being a part of it is exciting.

  5. HI Jess,
    Thanks for commenting. There are a few groups in America I know of one in Chicago but the website lists others.

  6. HI Tracy
    Yes we were all disappointed as it was such fun last year plus we were to take a whole week off just to explore the area but that has been postponed for a while now. HOpe you had a good weekend.

  7. Anne-Marie,

    This looks like so much fun. I can see why you all were so disappointed. The costumes and props are just awesome, they look like the real thing. What a great learning experience for you and your family. Hopefully you will be able to go next year. Have a wonderful evening.

  8. HI Kimberly,
    There is an authenticity expert for the group and they have very strict guidelines for what is acceptable to wear. So they really do try to recreate history as accurately as possible. That is why my husband enjoys it

  9. Wow, what a cool way to bring history to life! Sorry you didn't get to go, but thanks for posting the old pictures--really fascinating! And it looks like fun, too.

  10. Thank you for sharing this Anna-Marie. It looks like a lot of fun. Another great way to educate your children in a fun way. Sorry you didn't get to go this year.

    I voted for you yesterday and today, didn't leave myself enough time to comment yesterday. I hope you are having a good start to the week. =)

  11. Hi Anna-Marie,
    Stopping in to say HI and clicked a vote for you! Have a great Tuesday!

  12. HI Sparklee,
    Thanks for stopping by it is a lot of fun and a terrific learning experience for the whole family

  13. HI Lynda,
    Thanks for voting it is appreciated:)

  14. Found you through HHH. The Viking Festival sounds and looks fun (being of Norwegian descent, this really appealed to me). How disappointing for you to not be able to go this year.

  15. What a totally fabulous re-enactment! I love all the Viking costumes. My boys would have loved to see that ship go up in flames! LOL

  16. Hi Tamara,
    Thanks for stopping by and visiting:)

  17. Hi Susan,
    The ship burning is very popular and often fireworks are set off after wards, just for fun:)

  18. Hi Anna-Marie!
    I clicked a vote for you yesterday and today! Hope you are having a good week! It's hard to believe it's already Thursday! :)

  19. Wow!! That looks like so much fun. I would really enjoy visiting one of the weekends!!!

  20. We attend several a year due to my husband's participation in the re enactment group.