Ragnarök: Is today the end of the world?

By Holly R. Bogardus,

Nordic folklore predicts Ragnarök, or the end of the world, to fall today, Saturday, Feb. 22.

This apocalyptic description is that of the Norse Vikings (793-1066 AD) in Scandinavia. The interpretation that the end of days is today comes from those in York, England. Today is the final day of their 30th Jorvik Viking Festival, according to IBI Times.

The festival is the largest Viking heritage festival in Europe. This year’s festival is far more authentic and exciting than those of years past, as the end of days falls on the festivals closing ceremonies. There is a countdown on the festivals official website to let you know just how much time we have left.

According to mythology, Ragnarök (also referred to as “Twilight of the Gods” or “Final Destiny of the Gods”) is a battle involving all the Norse Gods, though most notably Odin, Thor, Loki, Tyr, Heimdallr, Freyr and Freja.

First Heimdallr will blow a horn (Gjallerhorn), which specifically signifies the end of the world. All the gods will take part in a fight that will destroy the nine worlds of the universe. The Fenris wolf, trapped on a remote island by Odin, will then free itself and eat Odin. His offspring will later devour the sun itself. The sea will then swallow the world.

There is good news, however. As the story goes, this is not truly the end. The gods are all reborn, and two humans, Liv and Livtrasir, (Life and Lust) will survive and repopulate.

According to the festival's director, Danielle Daglan, "this really is an event that should not be underestimated,” reports USA Today.

We’ll know by tomorrow whether or not the end of the world (as depicted by the Vikings) is upon us. Otherwise, this doomsday prophecy joins its fellow premature predictions, such as the Mayan calendar cycle ending in December 2012.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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