Want to take part in a historical epic where men dueled with swords and sailed in great ships? Then head to Frederikshavn in North Jutland as the whole town commemorates the annual Naval Festival called “The Days of Tordenskiold – the year is 1717.” This year, the 3-day event takes place on June 22-24.
The festival is all about the Great Northern War in 1709-1720 and the heroic exploits of Danish naval officer Peter Wessel Tordenskiold while he was stationed in Frederikshavn. It was started in 1998 and has since become one of the most popular Scandinavian war memorial events which even attract historic groups from other countries such as Norway and Sweden and draws in a crowd of about 30,000 visitors a year.
While the whole town seems to step back in time and participate in the event, the main activities are usually held by the port and the Gunpowder Tower. During the days of the festival, a fleet of wooden ships and 18th century vessels are re-created and are lined up along the harbor. There are live performances by actors in colorful costumes who also parade around the town, lectures, musical shows, storytelling and demonstrations of musket drills and sword fights and an exhibition of 18th century weapons, local crafts and many more. Moreover, there are banquets and food stalls that offer traditional Danish cuisine. And every evening, spectators are treated to a dazzling theatrical show of a sea battle in the harbor complete with lights and sounds and daredevil stunts.