History

Every Summer since 1977, hundreds – now thousands – of Vikings have flocked to the annual Moesgaard Viking Moot.

All over Scandinavia and even in the rest Europe, Viking Moots have come to life.

At the end of every July, Moesgaard Museum holds the annual Viking Moot near the beach east of the museum. The Viking Moot at Moesgaard is Denmark’s first, oldest and, at this time, greatest Viking Moot. The first annual Viking Moot was held in 1977, when employees at the museum joined sea scouts and Icelandic Horse rider Organisations to recreate the ancient Sct. Olai Market in Aarhus.

As were the case in the Aros/Aarhus of the Viking Age, a great number of languages are spoken, when Vikings from more than 14 nations come together. Being passionate about the Viking Age does not require being of Nordic origin, and since the Vikings travelled far from the North on their raids, the participants from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Scotland, Russia, Hungary and the US may well have Viking blood in their veins.

Originally, the intention was to create an alternative to festival plays and other performances – one where people did not put on costumes. But now, the Moesgaard Viking Moot has evolved into an event, where participants take pride in the fact that their costumes, homes and equipment closely resemble the originals of the Viking Age.

The market place is built from scratch with no prior buildings or installations. As did the Great Army, which legend says was led by the sons of Regnar Lodborg during the raids of England in the late ninth century, more than a thousand Vikings arrive on the beach at Moesgaard. In just a few days, they manage to raise a camp, and the warriors spend an entire week practicing for the great battle that takes place on the weekend. As it was the case in the Viking Age, merchants and craftsmen follow in wake of the warriors as does something quite unique – a cavalry of more than 60 horses.

In 2017, the Viking Moot celebrates its 40th anniversary.