Each June hundreds of Viking reenactors from around the world invade Höllviken, Sweden, to commemorate a battle that took place nearly 900 years ago. Many of the modern-day warriors arrive on June 20, the day marking the traditional celebration of Midsummer's Eve.
The reenactors descend on a living history museum, Foteviken, which re-creates a late-era Viking village complete with smokehouse, blacksmith workshop, and great hall. About 10,000 visitors also show up to enjoy the festivities and shop a Viking market where some 700 vendors offer everything from handmade jewelry to Viking weapons. (See "Did the Vikings Get a Bum Rap?")
While many reenactors make their armor and clothing as authentic as possible and spend the week living as the Vikings did, some also venture into the nearby affluent residential area in Höllviken. Photographer Johan Bävman documented the humorous situations that result when reenactors visit contemporary streets, cafes, and shops.
Above, Stefan Nordgren, 45, from Lödöse, Sweden, lives in a trailer during the festival and serves as chief judge during the reenactment of the Battle of Foteviken. In his daily life Nordgren works as a test engineer in Gothenburg.
— Photo editing by Nicole Werbeck, Text by Brian Clark Howard
Pictures: Urban Vikings Take to the Streets
Viking reenactors from Foteviken, Sweden, descend on the nearby town of Höllviken.