The ragnar will be röking on Saturday when, according to some, the Viking calendar predicts the end of the world.
Nordic folklore has it that after three freezing winters, when there have been no summers in between, the world will come to an end.
The past two summers have been cold and wet, so declaring that Ragnarök (otherwise known as the Twilight of the Gods) is upon us is a subjective call.
But it’s one some folks in York, England, are willing to make. There, the Jorvik Viking Center is holding its annual Viking Festival. And wouldn’t you know it, the world’s going to end the last day of the festival.
There’s even a countdown on its website, so you’ll know how much more time there is to pillage and destroy civilization before we all die.
According to the festival’s director, Danielle Daglan, “this really is an event that should not be underestimated. In the last couple of years, we’ve had predictions of the Mayan apocalypse, which passed without incident, and numerous other dates where the end of the world has been penciled in by seers, fortune tellers and visionaries.”
However, Daglan was certain that the god Heimdallr blew the Gjallerhorn (a mystical horn that predicts the coming of the end of the world) last year.
Heimdallr is the guardian of the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that connects the world of the gods and the world of men.
“The sound of the horn is possibly the best indicator yet that the Viking version of the end of the world really will happen on 22 February,” Daglan said.
The world ends with a bang, not a whimper, in Norse mythology. There will be an epic battle between the gods, in this case Odin, the Allfather of the gods, along with other major gods including Thor, the god of thunder, Freja, the goddess of love, and Loki, the trickster god.
At the end of the battle, the entire world will sink beneath the waves and all humans will die — except for two, according to folklore.
Those, Liv and Livtrasir, (Life and Lust) will come up from the underworld to repopulate the world.
News that the world was ending Saturday had not gotten to Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s largest newspaper. Reached at his desk in Stockholm on Thursday, editor Mats Larsson said he hadn’t heard anything about it.
“I’ll have to change my vacation plans, because I was going skiing on Saturday,” he said.
The newspaper has been busy covering the Olympics, “so perhaps we missed it,” Larsson said.