News Release - Issued by The JORVIK Group
A love affair that brings together two warring families, a harridan mother-in-law, a horde of unruly groomsmen and amorous bridesmaids – what better way is there to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a Norse love story played out by live actors, combined with a fantastic Viking Feast? That is what is on offer at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall in York on 14 February 2015 on the opening weekend of the JORVIK Viking Festival 2015.
“This event is the absolute opposite to the traditional Valentine’s Day romantic meal for two – a raucous evening of entertainment, music and sumptuous food when diners share in the Viking wedding experience,” comments Festival Director, Danielle Daglan. “It is a superb way to really launch the 2015 Festival in dramatic style within a wonderful building, and indeed, the whole Festival will become an extension of the wedding celebrations, which would traditionally last several days – or longer if an important family were involved!”
Viking marriages were generally arranged between families – mutually beneficial relationships for both parties – and so although there was no expectation of love prior to the wedding, the couple would develop a working relationship after their nuptials. The groom’s family would offer the bride’s family a “bride-price” (mundr), and in return, the bride’s family would provide a dowry (heiman fylgia) which would be used to support the wife and any children if the husband died, or which would be returned to the wife in the event of a divorce.
“Viking marriages were very much more evenly weighted than those which followed for centuries afterwards, with women considered equal to men under the law – essential when a husband may be away for months on end – and able to hold lands and money,” adds Danielle. “Once they had received approval to do so from the Jarl or spiritual leader, wives were also able to divorce their husbands simply by declaring themselves divorced, before witnesses, in three separate locations around the house: the bed, the high seat and at the threshold. When you consider the legal hoops that separating couples have to jump through today, this was the ultimate ‘quickie divorce’.”
Tickets for the Viking Wedding are £65 per person, and include all food and drinks with the three course banquet (a cash bar is available after the feast) and, of course, the entertainment. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly, available from www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk or by calling 01904 615505.
The Viking Wedding takes place on the evening of Saturday 14 February, with the first events of the 2015 JORVIK Viking Festival taking place earlier in the day, including the opening of Viking encampments in Parliament Street and the Eye of York, and Viking Steading (farm).
The Festival continues with events taking place until Sunday 22 February. These include the annual Best Beard Competition, a huge evening combat and special effects event on the evening of Saturday 21 February, and even a Viking ‘bake-off’ on Sunday 22 February. The 31stJORVIK Viking Festival also includes lectures, live combat demonstrations, ‘meet the author’ events, folk music and many more activities.
For more details, please visit www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk
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