Norwich Dragon Festival 2009
Norwich will roar into life as the first ever dragon festival takes place at various venues around the city. The festival aims to reflect dragons as an integral part of Norwich's local history.
Better get your flame-retardant clothing ready, as the first ever Norwich Dragon Festival flies its way into the city between Saturday, 31 January - Sunday, 22 February, 2009.
The festival entails three weeks of flame-filled activities including exhibitions, puppet shows, story-telling, talks, films, arts and crafts and a dragon trail.
The aim of the festival is to celebrate dragons as part of Norwich's vast culture and history, with the fiery creatures being a part of the city since the Medieval Ages.
The festival will call at 15 different locations around Norwich, including the £2 million renovated Dragon Hall on King Street, and many venues will exhibit their displays for free.
The Dragon Festival
The fire-breathing creatures have been given the support of many companies throughout Norwich to bring them to the public domain.
"There's over 15 organisations involved from all across the city and about 30 different events," said Christina Lundberg, communications manager at Norwich Heritage, Economic and Regenerations Trust.
"The activities are mainly aimed at families, but there's treats for the young people at heart and talks that are also aimed towards adults," she added.
A dragon in the spandrels at Dragon Hall
One of the main dragons that can be seen at the festival is an incredible 581 years old, placed in the spandrels (rafters) of Dragon Hall.
"We've had groups who've liaised with community artists to work at filling our other spandrels at Dragon Hall, because we only have one dragon there at the moment," said Gina Woods, learning and development officer of Dragon Hall.
"Even though there is only one, it is rather famous, being 581 years old," she added.
Young people have been able to get involved in filling the remaining spandrels of the hall.
"Filling the triangular spandrels has been really fun and creative. We have a felt dragon made by Catton brownies," said Gina.
The history of Norwich's dragons
Ever since the Medieval Ages, Norwich has had a history of dragons.
A Dragon on St John's Cathedral, Norwich
"The dragons are mainly related to St George, the great dragon-slayer, and Margaret, the maiden he rescued," said Christina.
"Dragons have been carved in Norwich since Medieval times and they boomed around the Industrial Revolution, where the creatures were incorporated into the architecture of the buildings.
"Snap dragons were involved in the Annual Guild Day on St George's Day and various dragons can now be found throughout Norwich.
"People in Norwich have really taken dragons to heart".