sinorides Viking ship rides

The origin and history of the Viking Ride

At the top of many pirate ships in amusement parks, you will often find the word “Viking” hanging. Why?

The pirate ship is a classic mechanical amusement ride, and you can see it in almost every amusement park.

Whether in amusement parks in Western countries where pirate culture is prevalent or in today’s amusement parks in Asia, Vikings are everywhere.

Where did the Vikings come from? When did the history of the Vikings begin? What does the term “Viking” represent?

The term “Viking” refers to the “noble savage” from the Nordic regions before the medieval era, primarily from present-day Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.

Starting around the 8th century AD, large numbers of Nordic fishermen, farmers, and craftsmen left the cold and impoverished Scandinavian Peninsula, heading south to the British Isles and quickly reaching mainland Europe. These people later came to be known as Vikings by the people of England and the European continent. The root of the word “Viking” implies “coming from the sea.”

Wherever the Vikings went, they first attacked the nearest undefended monasteries and estates along the coastline. They even ventured deep into the Thames, Seine, and Rhine river basins, reaching the heartlands of England and the European continent, conducting raids and plundering.

The literature of England and Europe contains numerous terrifying records of the Viking “dragon-headed ships” suddenly arriving and pillaging during this period. Such attacks and plundering persisted for a long time in the British Isles and on the European continent.

Subsequently, the term “Viking” became synonymous with “pirate.” Vikings became associated with terror, plunder, and disaster in the literature of England and Europe.

The “dragon-head ship” and “snake-head ship” the Vikings rode on, the “pointed hat” they wore, and the “sharp ax” they used all became symbols of terror in the hearts of Europeans in those centuries.

Apart from raiding the British Isles and Western Europe by crossing the North Sea, the Vikings also navigated rivers such as the Dnieper and Volga, reaching present-day Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and other areas. Carrying goods like fur, honey, ivory, they traded with local Slavic people while engaging in plunder and battles.

The Vikings even reached the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, Baghdad, and other Arab regions. They exchanged goods brought from the Nordic regions for a significant amount of Arab silver coins known as “dirham.”

Until around the 11th century AD, the Vikings traded with and gradually settled among the local people in England, Ireland, continental Europe, including present-day northern France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, etc. They intermarried and integrated, becoming the ancestors or components of present-day English, French, German, and Slavic people.

By this time, the Vikings had become a part of many European ethnicities, even beening kings in England.

After three centuries, the Viking era eventually became history.

However, the term “Viking” has become a part of pirate history, serving as a cultural symbol of piracy that forever remains in the history before medieval Europe.

Nowadays, the term “Viking” is most commonly used on mechanical amusement park rides, especially on pirate ships.

Can vikings from thousands of years ago think of it? They have transformed into a historical segment and cultural symbol, standing on pirate ships in amusement parks of the 21st century, bringing us joy. (Author: Mike Ma form Sinorides)



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