05 Mar 2018
Two cities celebrate their Viking past
Two cities celebrate their Viking past at Dublin’s DUBLINIA VIKINGFEST 2018 (30 March-2 April) and the WATERFORD VIKING FESTIVAL 2018 (31 March-2 April)
From the ancient Viking traces of Waterford city in Ireland’s Ancient East, to the foundations of medieval Dublin, Ireland invites the world to celebrate its Viking past this Easter, with two wonderful events: the Viking Festival 2018, Waterford (31 March-April 2nd) and Dublin city’s Dublinia VikingFest 2018 (30 March-April 2nd).
Not sure how the Vikings came to be part of this island’s legacy? Well, far from being just rampaging warriors, the Vikings also brought civilisation, founding many of Ireland’s towns and cities as time went on. It all started for Ireland in the late 8th Century, when the Vikings realised there were lands not far away that were richer in land, stock and provisions than their own. And so their journey overseas – and to Ireland – began.
These mighty Nordic warriors battled chieftains, forged alliances and settled into the history of Ireland’s rich heritage. And despite their terrifying arrival in Ireland, the Norsemen were settlers by inclination. The result, Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Youghal, Arklow, Wicklow and Dublin all have Viking origins. Even place names give notice to their Nordic roots (Waterford ends with a variant of fjord…)
Save the dates
The key event will be in both cities. Follow the Vikings, a live outdoor spectacle involving film, dance, live animation and battle reenactment takes place at both events. Save the dates for live action on Saturday 31 March at the historic Wood Quay amphitheatre in Dublin, and in Waterford’s Apple Market on Easter Monday 2 April.
Waterford Viking Festival (31 March-April 2nd)
At the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East, Waterford was founded in 914AD by Viking settlers, and the city gets its name from the Norse word "Veðrafjorðr", meaning "windy fjord". From these humble beginnings, Waterford grew to become a flourishing medieval port, which dominated trade between Ireland and its European neighbours for centuries – the Waterford Treasures trio of museums in the Waterford’s Viking Triangle tells the 1100-year-old story in great detail. The Waterford celebrations see renowned street theatre company Spraoi will present the Waterford Viking Festival, three days of interactive experiences including, boat-building workshops, sword-making and metal work re-enactments, archery, as well as guided tours of Viking Waterford.
Dublinia VikingFest 2018 (30 March-April 2nd)
Around 841AD, the invading Norsemen had started to settle, and a place the Celts had once called Dubh Linn soon became Dyflin, Little remained of their stay, but in the 1970s, during construction at Wood Quay – the area between Dublin’s River LIffey and Christ Church Cathedral – an extensive settlement was discovered, and the Viking exhibition called Dublinia established at the crossroads to remind people of the impact our Nordic neighbours had on the city. The four day VikingFest 2018 in Dublin centres around Dublinia – a unique Viking and medieval in the heart of the city – and Wood Quay, and will feature Living History demonstrations and Viking ships moored and on display in Wood Quay.
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