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Jolablot comes to York!
The Viking Longship
The Vikings come to York

When Viking's ruled York a thousand years ago, they held great celebrations in February.

These were called 'Jolablot' and heralded the coming of spring and an end to winter hardships.


Jorvik Viking Centre

Barley Hall
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 The Vikings would hold big celebrations to herald the coming of spring and the survival of winter hardships. These were called 'Jolablot'.

 Eric Bloodaxe is probably one of the best-known names in Viking history.

The favoured son of Harald Finehair, who was credited by the Viking sagas with the unification of Norway, he became king of western Norway after his father.

 Eric moved to the British Isles. There he divided his time between raiding in Scotland and around the Irish Sea, and establishing himself as ruler of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria.

His death in 954 brought the independence of Viking Northumbria to an end, but his sons later succeeded in establishing themselves as kings in Norway.

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The Vikings Annual Gathering - Jolablot!

The 10 day celebration of Jolablot kicked off on Friday 13th 2004 when Vikings from all over the UK and Europe descended on York to celebrate the coming of spring.

Viking preparing for battle
Beware of the Vikings, don't cross their paths

The festival features a wide range of spectacular events including a Viking Wedding, battle clashes, longship racing, battle training for children and Viking walks.

It culminates in the Coronation of the Viking King Erik Bloodaxe in York Minster on Saturday 21st February 2004, as the Grand Finale.

Listen and watch a Viking wedding

Events Listing for Jolablot:

Friday 13th February
9.30am St. Mary's Square, Coppergate - Three school children (who are taking part in the official launch) will be limbering up for the grand opening events with the Viking Lure (instrument)
Festival Tent, St. Sampson's Square - 1.15-2.15 and the Eye of York - 2.40pm
Grand opening event/Sagas on the Move
The Mayor of York will officially launch the festival and be joined by local children from four York schools (Burton Green Primary, Knavesmire Primary, Clifton Green Primary and Scarcroft Primary) to perform an authentic Viking Saga. The children will parade in full costume to the Festival Tent to perform further sagas, before moving onto the Eye of York for a musical finale.
Saturday 14th February 10.15am
Clifford's Tower
witness a traditional Viking ceremony on the most romantic of days, St. Valentine's Day
Saturday 21st February
11am - 2pm King's Staith
See teams race for victory in replica Viking vessels cheered on by crowds of traders and Vikings on the riverbank
Saturday 21st February 2.30pm - 3.30pm The Eye of York
The forces have gathered and marched into combat (from Museum Gardens). The opposing English & Dane armies now clash for supremacy and honour in this spectacular battle re-enactment 11am St Michael-le-Belfrey Church (opp Minster) Royal Wedding. To heal the rift of the St Brice's Day Massacre, King Sven brings his daughter to marry Uhtred of Bamburgh. This important political union will also include parts of a mass sung in Latin

Saturday 21st February - 7.30pm York Minster

Experience the Coronation of the Viking King Erik Bloodaxe in the majestic setting of the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. The atmospheric ceremony will include a candlelit procession with over 100 Viking guards, The Queen and her ladies in waiting.
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