Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ready for Ragnarok?

Back in November I posted about Ragnarok, the supposed "Viking apocalypse," which is scheduled for today. That's right, February 22, 2014. So are you ready for the end of the world - again? Or, more to the point, are you ready to laugh off yet another failed prediction as February 23rd comes without a hitch? This time around it sounds like the Norse apocalypse is not being treated so much as a calamity but as an excuse to sell tickets to a "Viking Festival," which is a big improvement over Harold Camping and his lot back in 2011.

The sound of an ancient horn heard reverberating across the rooftops of York this evening is a portent of doom and the beginning of a countdown to the Norse apocalypse, according to experts in Norse mythology from the JORVIK Viking Centre. The horn belonged to the Norse god, Heimdallr, who was said to blow the mythical Gjallerhorn to warn that Ragnarok – the Viking apocalypse – will take place in 100 days. Experts are predicting the end of the world will take place on 22 February 2014, coinciding with the grand finale of the 30th JORVIK Viking Festival in the city of York.

“Ragnarok is the ultimate landmark in Viking mythology, when the gods fall and die, so this really is an event that should not be underestimated,” comments Danielle Daglan director of the JORVIK Viking Festival. “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 pencilled in by seers, fortune tellers and visionaries, but 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 next year.”

So at least the folks attending the festival will have a good time. Much like the end-of-the-world party I threw back when Camping swore up and down the world was going to end in May 2011, it sounds like these festival organizers have the right idea. When somebody predicts that the world is going to end, the history pretty much proves that they're wrong. But an excuse to have some fun is always welcome.

Now lest you think I'm making fun of Norse beliefs, I'm not - I'm half Scandinavian myself (Norwegian/Swedish) so I expect some of my ancestors were Vikings, and on top of that I've done a fair amount of magical work with the Norse gods. It's the doomsday crowd that I like to mock, especially those who for some inexplicable reason seem to be looking forward to the end of the world.

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