Viking festivals are most popular in Norway and Scandinavia. Most Viking dwellings, clothes, food, art, music, sports, storytelling, craft demos, archery workshops, and other thematic entertainment are held in a reconstructed Viking settlement. Thereby making you feel like you belonged to the Viking era among the most popular Scandinavian warriors. Scandinavia is proud of its Viking heritage and holds many Viking festivals throughout the area each year.
The Viking culture is popular historically; however, it has recently gained more popularity due to the different Viking inspired dramas and movies created. It has become a popular sensation in the modern world. Here are a few Viking festival to check out if you’re ever in the mood to get dress up as a warrior and wield your weapons:
#1 – Avaldsnes Viking festival
Usually, every year at the beginning of June, the Viking culture is celebrated in Avaldsnes, a village located in the South-West of the Karmøy municipality. This festival is most famous for being the largest Viking market in Western Norway. The festival is celebrated over four days at the Viking Farm Avaldsnes. Its main purpose is to continue the tradition of gathering Vikings from different countries, as was previously done in the Norse Sagas when the royal estate at Avaldsnes was the most famous meeting place.
#2 – Trondheim viking market
Tondheim, having been the capital of Norway from the majority of the Viking age, has a lot of heritage to take from its annual festival on Vikinglag or Viking Wag festival. The market travels all over the city, staging stalls as they go about the various Viking celebrations. You will also gain the opportunity to talk to craftsmen, who work with traditional Viking-era methods to share their skills and heritage. While in Trondheim, check out Rockheim, the museum for pop and rock.
#3 – St Olav Viking festival
Visitors to stillstand can enjoy the Stiklestadir market for a week at the end of July. Many stalls and craftsmen demonstrate their skills and even allow people to have their go at various skills. There are various skills from archery to woodworking. The most important part is St Olav Drama, a play that has been performed for over fifty years as a dramatization of the events leading up to the Battle of Stiklestad, where King Olav died.
#4 – Lofotr Viking market
The Lofotr Viking market is a festival in the Lofotr Viking museum in Bostad, a village in the Lofoten Islands. It is usually held in the first week of August; the Lofotr Viking Festival hosts about a hundred Vikings from Norway and beyond. The event takes place at the Boathouse, Lofotr. Every summer, Norway’s premiere Viking Museum holds a feast and opens its archaeological sites to visitors. The feast is grand in typical Viking style, including a traditional leg of lamb, dancing with Viking actors, and late-night views of Borg, the Viking chieftain house.
#5 – Gudvangen Viking Market
The former Viking Town, Gudvangen, honors its ancestry every year with a festival at Viking Valley. At this festival, the highlights are on the various battle reenactments and demonstrations of the traditional battle techniques. Along with which there is the obvious, feasting, and mead-drinking. Additionally, you will also find cool trick shows and other stalls that highlight the Vikings to the fullest. At Gudvangen, you are likely to find some Viking events all year round.
#6 – Tønsberg Viking Festival
Almost every year, at the beginning of September, Tonsberg hosts a Viking festival. It is the oldest Norwegian town situated in the South-East of the country. The place was also Norway’s former capital and is well-known for its vivid Viking history. The Tonsberg Viking festival is a cultural event where you can choose to participate by arranging your event, organizing a Viking market stall, or simply just taking part as a volunteer. The highlight of this festival is the launching of an ancient Viking ship.
The Tonsberg festival presents Viking inspired art, song, music, dance, and theatre, while also involving restaurants, volunteer organizations, a Viking market, museums, and others. The whole Tønsberg town is transformed into a Viking town for the three days of festivities. Restaurants and shops create their own “Viking touch” theatre groups perform Viking plays, and the port will be filled with Viking ships.
#7 – Foteviken Viking Market
During the Viking age all those years ago, a great annual summer market was held at Foteviken, the largest in Scandinavia. This modern yet ancient-looking market inspires and attracts many Vikings from all over. The Foteviken Viking Market has various stalls and a congregation of Vikings from around the world. The market also sells handmade items such as leather goods and jewelry. There are a variety of exciting activities that you can do at this market, like watch demonstrations in wrought iron, brick ribbon weaving, dying, Viking cooking, and wood carving.
The highlight of every year of the Foteviken market is the Viking Games Open, where Vikings and visitors participate in 5 different sports testing balance, strength, and precision. There are various games such as pole throwing, tug of war, the Viking race, or codfish tossing. Mostly, people gather around to watch the reenactment of the Battle of Foteviken and is performed by visiting Viking warriors.
If you are a Norse mythology lover or a Viking connoisseur, you must visit these festivals at least once in your lifetime. Though you may not feel like you are at a war-ridden zone among great noblemen, you can come close to being a Viking yourself.