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News, Tips & Bargains : A Viking Festival Comes to York

January 23, 1994

The ancient city of York in northern England fell under Scandinavian rule in the middle of the 9th Century when Vikings sailed up the River Ouse from the North Sea, took the city by storm and renamed it Jorvik.

Just as the Vikings welcomed the approach of Spring with Jolablot (winter festivities), so York brightens up the otherwise dreary month of February with its annual Jorvik Viking Festival. This year the city's celebration of its Nordic past is set for Feb. 4 to 19.

On Feb. 5, English and Scandinavian oarsmen will board traditional Viking longships for a race on the Ouse and later that day there will be a Viking feast in the 14th-Century Merchant Adventurers Hall.

The festival will feature almost daily Viking-style activities including a torchlight procession, boat-burning ceremony, Viking dramas, lectures on Viking food and culture, concerts, folk dancing and displays of Roman, Viking and medieval arts and crafts.

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