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Largs Viking Festival

Every year in August and September, the Scottish town of Largs hosts one of Europe’s premier festivals to celebrate the connection with the Viking clans that the island holds as one of its treasures. Full of ceremony and history, the festival is based on the original battle of Largs of 1263 between the Norwegian clans and Scotland warriors. This battle was the last Viking raid in the United Kingdom.

Sometime in the 1980s, the Viking Festival of Largs was started as a small re-enactment and celebration of the Battle of Largs. The structure known as The Pencil, a monument, marking the battle is where the finale of the festival is held. After the re-enactment of the battle, there is the burning of the longship and fireworks display as the culmination to the festival. Gaining recognition throughout the world, the festival has grown considerably and continues to thrive. Each year a dedicated committee works to organize the many events and displays that the festival holds.

Just as the battle has a history, so does this wonderful festival. You can find many references to the Vikings in the village like names of various streets, and the arcade including the Vikings who stand outside the local Fish and Chips. A more serious commemoration is the Vikingar. This is an award winnging interactive exhibit brings the myths and tales of Vikings alive through storytellers, including the Hakon Hakonsson Lecture. In 1980, this lecture was originally started by Magnus Magnusson. The Vikingar itself is an interactive model where you can learn about Viking life, their skills, crafts and trades. The Village welcomes the opportunity to share this wonderful history with school groups by bringing the the Norway of 825AD to life.

Prof. Magnus Fladmark of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen became the new director in 2008 following the death of Magnus Magnusson. During the festival there are numerous events and displays, including an opening parade and ceremony, skate competitions, fairs, and a continental food market. The festival provides great entertainment with some great history with the re-creation of the Battle of Largs in all its glory. If you are in the area, make plans to attend, it will be an adventure you won’t forget.

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