YORK’S Norse settlers will aim to be the most stylish Vikings in the world when the 2020 Jorvik Viking Festival runs from February 15 to 23.
Event manager Gareth Henry explains how this might be achieved: “The Vikings cared about their appearance and personal hygiene. Combs to keep their hair and beards in order were prized possessions carved out of bone and sometimes beautifully decorated, while beautiful beads and jewellery were a sign of wealth and status,” he says.
“During the festival, you’ll see many superb examples of adornments on the clothing of the re-enactors who come to take part.”
At next month’s nine-day festival, visitors can join costumed interpreters in showing off their Viking style with a number of events aimed at creating and expressing traditional Norse style:
- Viking Costume Competition, St Sampson’s Square, February 15, 3pm. Open to the public, a judging panel will consider those who believe they are York’s best dressed, with Viking and Viking-inspired fashion welcome to take to the main stage for the ultimate Project Norseway. An expert panel of judges will share their views on the best male, female and children’s Viking attire in this free event.
- Best Beard Competition, St Sampson’s Square, February 22, 3pm. A traditional favourite, where the audience chooses the best facial hair on show. Open to men, women, children and this year, for the first time, bearded canines, expect some genuine chin growth, re-purposed head tresses and even some man-made creations as competitors vie for the coveted trophies.
- Trichinopoly. Not some kind of Viking board game, but the art of wire weaving to create jewellery and adornments by one of Jorvik Viking Centre’s team of historic educators. The workshops run on Tuesday, February 18, 2pm to 5pm, and Wednesday, February 19, 10am to 1pm, in the York Medical Society on Stonegate, priced at £30 per person, including all materials and refreshments.
- An adult leather-working workshop. This will introduce participants to some of the skills required to make simple leather items inspired by archaeological finds from Coppergate. The session takes place on Tuesday, February 20 from 10am to 12 noon at the York Medical Society on Stonegate.
- Home & Away: Fashion and identity in the Viking Age, Jorvik Viking Centre, Tuesday, February 18, 7pm to 8.30pm. Presented by Dr Gareth Williams, of the British Museum, whose talk will explore how fashion varied across the Viking world, including how it fused with other styles as the Vikings explored the globe. Tickets cost £25.
The use of black jet in Viking jewellery will be explored by Sarah Steele, of Ebor Jetworks, during the symposium that rounds off the festival on Sunday, February 23 with a series of talks and presentations on the latest Viking research around the world.
For more information on events during the 2020 Jorvik Viking Festival, and to book tickets, visit jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.