Countdown to Magnus Barelegs one-day event

Countdown to Magnus Barelegs one-day event

8 August 2018

THE Magnus Viking Association is staging its biennial Magnus Barelegs Festival at Delamont Country Park on August 25.

The hugely popular event has been running for almost 20 years and is the longest running Viking festival in Ireland.

It celebrates the life and death of King Magnús (Barelegs) Óláfsson of Norway who is the only Viking King to be buried outside of Scandinavia. His grave can be found on the outskirts of Downpatrick.

Open to the public, the action-packed one-day event starts at noon and continues until 5pm. There will be a Viking Longhouse, Viking and Celtic tented villages, all surrounded by a palisade wall.

Within the wall there will be re-enactors displaying aspects of living history which organisers hope will include ancient bee keeping, dark age textiles and demonstrations of weaving, spinning and dyeing, traditional wood turning, medieval blacksmithing, interactive tapestry, have-a-go archery and axe throwing.

There will also be a display of Viking and Celtic weapons and armour, an arena with fight demonstrations and interactive events such as children’s battle drill where they are given swords and shields of their own.

The children will be put through a battle drill by chieftain Olaf and get to take on real Vikings in a shield wall battle. There will also be a Thing — or Viking court —  held where troublemakers will be tried and punished and a slave market. 

During the afternoon, there will be a four-ship shore invasion and after the final battle there will be a full Viking funeral with the burning of a 35-foot long Viking longship.