Mike McFadden weaving a gillnet, which is used for catching fish, in the viking village at Viking Days at The Danish Canadian Museum in Dickson Sunday afternoon. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Vikings Days a celebration of Danish immigration, culture

The Danish Canadian Museum near Dickson held its annual Viking Days celebration this weekend.

The two-day event featured a viking village, battle demonstrations, a feast and more.

“Viking Days is all about where the Danish immigration began,” said Susan Hayduk, business manager at the museum.

“Almost every Canadian can connect to that. For the majority of Canadians, somewhere in their history, there will be an immigration – somebody will have immigrated to Canada. Unless you’re an Indigenous person you’ve had an immigrant in your family.”

Danish immigration began about 1,000 years ago – some came to Newfoundland, but returned home after two years of battling the cold climate.

The Viking Days feast was based on the timeline of where the vikings travelled.

“We researched from the fourth century to the 11th century, which is basically when the Danish were in the viking era,” said Hayduk.

“Almond, for example, is a very prominent flavour in Danish food, but you don’t find almond trees in Denmark. Exactly the same with lemons.”

People who have come to Canada from Denmark in more recent times immediately wanted to be immersed into the Canadian culture, said Hayduk.

“For birthday parties and anniversaries they’d put up a Danish flag. Now that they’re Danish-Canadians, they put up Danish and Canadian flags,” she said.

Between 1926-1957, Dickson, which is located south of Spruce View, was the largest Danish settlement in western Canada, said Hayduk.

Many people may not know they have Danish heritage, she added.

“Because of the Danish actually travelled most of Europe and into Russia, you will find a lot of Scandinavian blood you wouldn’t even realize is there. It’s interesting.”

The Danish Canadian Museum is hosting a handful of events over the next six months, including the haunted forest. That event is based on Danish folklore and runs Oct. 25-27.

For more information on the museum, visit www.thedanishcanadianmuseum.com.


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Greg McClennon wire weaving in the viking village at Viking Days at The Danish Canadian Museum in Dickson Sunday afternoon. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

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