The Vikings are coming to Surrey!
On Feb. 16, The Surrey Museum will transform into a medieval Viking encampment for “Viking Invasion”, the first in a series of monthly Discovery Saturday events. The event is in celebration of the Museum’s new feature exhibition, Vikings, and will include historically outfitted members of the Reik Felag Norse Culture Recreation Society.
“Our goal is to produce living history,” said Reik Felag member Linda Woodcock. The non-profit society aims to educate the public, “dispelling some of the myths and stereotypes” surrounding Viking culture and society. “We interact with the public, answering their questions and even letting them try their hand at an ancient craft.” Members of the historical re-enactment group will be busy from 1-4 p.m. participating in traditional Viking activities, such as weaving, spinning, leatherwork, metalwork, spice trading and sword practice.
Children will have a chance to try their hand at Viking-themed crafts, while families can watch videos on Viking history, while merchant Gerry Larson of “For Vikings Only” will bring a selection of Viking-inspired jewellery for viewing.
At 1:30 p.m., museum visitors will see a performance by touring dance troupe Poulsbo Leikarringen of Poulsbo, Wash., which performs traditional folk dances from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
“We have close to 100 children, ages 5-19, in our Scandinavian folk dance program, making us one of the largest youth folk dance groups in the world,” said group coordinator Ingrid Marlow. “Some dances tell stories, while others are composed of many different forms.”
Those with a deeper interest in Viking history are encouraged to register for History Speaks: Vikings! (2:30-3:30pm, $5 fee, registration required), where fully outfitted in period clothing, including sword, sea axe and sounding horn, Reik Felag member Jeremy Smith will cover various aspects of Norse mythology and the ways in which they related to daily Viking life.
Of particular interest is the discussion around the creation of the world according to Norse canon, and the story of Ragnarok, an epic battle in the future that results in the destruction of many major gods, including Odin and Thor.
Discovery Saturdays will be held at the Museum on the third Saturday of each month from 1-4 p.m. Admission is by donation. The Surrey Museum is located at 17710 56A Ave. Admission is sponsored by the Friends of the Surrey Museum. For more information, call 604-592-6956 or visit www.surrey.ca/heritage