- Published on Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:34
THE end of the world is almost upon us if Norse mythology is to be believed, which predicts the Earth will split open and release the inhabitants of the underworld Hel on 22 February.
On Saturday, according to Norse legend at least, the series of events leading up to Ragnarok will culminate in an epic battle, where Norse gods Thor, Loki, Odin, Freyr, Hermóðr, will fight. Odin will be killed by Fennir and the other creator gods will fall.
The Earth will fall into the sea, and life as we know it will cease to be.
It's not all bad news though, as the world will re-emerge anew and fertile, and two human survivors will be in charge of repopulating the Earth.
Events leading up to the Viking apocalypse Ragnarok have apparently already begun, after the wolf Fennir, son of Loki escaped from his prison and the giant serpent Migard emerged from the ocean.
Ragnarok is described in the 13th century Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson. The Vikings believe Ragnarok occurs after three freezing winters, with no summers in between.
Experts from the Jorvik Viking Centre predicted the world would end on 22 February to coincide with the grand finale of the 30th JORVIK Viking Festival.
According to the group, the sound of an ancient horn could be heard across the rooftops of York on 15 November last year, as “a portent of doom and the beginning of a countdown to the Norse apocalypse”.
The horn belonged to Norse god Heimdallr, who would blow it to mark 100 days before impending doom and a countdown is now running on the festival website.
Festival director Danielle Daglan said: "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.
“In the last couple of years, we’ve had predictions of […] numerous 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.”
'Norsemen' from across the Britain converge on the town to celebrate the Jorvik festival, which runs from 15 to 23 February. The festival is even running its own dedicated social media feed where participants will be encouraged to tweet using the hastag #ragnarok2014.
The festival is even promising to equip visitors "with the tools to survive the apocalypse, from hunting for the mightiest and strongest warriors to training children in combat skills", Ms Daglan added.
Should the apocalypse not occur on Saturday, it will join a string of failed predictions including the Mayan Apocalypse that said the world would be destroyed by an interplanetary object on 21 December 2012.