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Discover the Vikings at JORVIK Viking Festival 2023

JORVIK Viking Festival is York’s annual celebration of all things Norse. For nine days in York City Centre, you can discover saga-telling and combat displays, join in crafting fun and witness the might of the Vikings. There’s something for the whole family to discover throughout the Festival, but one thing is guaranteed… plenty of Vikings!

Whether they’re putting their fantastic beards to the test, nalebinding socks or showing their ferocious strength, read on to find out where you can spot the Vikings at #JVF23.

Camped out on Parliament Street

The Vikings have pitched their tents on Parliament Street - chat to them about their crafts, see them in action and get a selfie… there’s even a Viking toilet you can sit on!

Have you ever seen a Viking woodcutter craft a bowl? At the Viking encampment, you can see a range of Norse crafts in action, from woodworking and metalworking to pottery making and nalebinding. Take a look at Una Wind-Weaver nalebinding at the Festival last year, explaining how this Nordic technique can be used to make socks and other knitted materials.

Who are the Viking champions?

Cheer on your favourite Viking champion at the Strongest Viking Competition or enter the Best Beard competition if you think your stubble could rival a Viking beard.

Men, women and children are welcome at the annual Best Beard competition – they’re looking for the most glorious beard in York, whether it's natural or homemade. Go on, put your whiskers to the test!

The stakes are also high for the annual Strongest Viking Competition! Head to The Eye of York for hammer-holding, leg-wrestling, hand-to-hand combat and more - cheer on your favourite Viking champion at this family-friendly contest.

Meet the 10th-Century Traders

Transport yourself to the 10th Century city and meet traders from all over the Viking world. Explore the stalls and soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy the excellent range of Viking goods on sale, from hand-crafted weapons to authentic jewellery and much more!

Watch this video of a Viking trader Audhild at last year's Festival who sells intricate jewellery. 

Fearsome Viking armies

They’ve come from near and far to muster in their fearsome armies – now it’s your chance to see hundreds of Viking warriors march through the city. With their war cries echoing around the streets, the March to Coppergate is a mighty sight to behold.

Finally, when night falls at the Eye of York, gather to see the tale of Ibn Fadlan, the Arabic witness to the might of the Vikings. His vivid account of their strength, rituals and ferocity will be brought to life with a cast of legendary Norsemen to recreate their historic encounter in ‘the land of darkness’.

JORVIK Viking Centre

Don’t forget to visit JORVIK Viking Centre at this year’s Festival.

Based on the discoveries of the ground-breaking Coppergate Dig - which revealed the expansive trade routes of the Vikings - JORVIK Viking Centre explores the everyday lives of the traders, raiders and settlers in York. You can even see (and unfortunately smell) one Viking on the toilet and overhear a couple arguing about what to have for tea!

As part of this unique experience, you can also meet the Vikings who would have lived in 10th Century Jorvik. Chat to them about life on Coppergate, ask them what Vikings got up to in their spare time, what they wore or even how they cleaned their ears in Old Norse!

Get ready for #JVF23

JORVIK Viking Festival takes place 11th - 19th February 2023 and promises to be packed full of exciting events from Mead Tasting and Jolablot’s Feast to fascinating lectures and Berserker Boot Camp and Poo Day for kids.

Highlight events such as Jolablot Feast, Battle Spectacular and entry to JORVIK Viking Centre are likely to sell out, so book now to avoid disappointment. Check for the latest updates by visiting jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk

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