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.