Hadrian's Wall: How are they going to celebrate its 1,900th anniversary?

Did you know that the year 2022 marks the 1,900th anniversary of the beginning of Hadrian’s Wall’s construction? Here’s how they are celebrating.

First of all, what is Hadrian’s Wall? Well, it was a wall built by the ancient Roman emperor, Hadrian, to mark the border between Roman-occupied Britain and Scotland, which the Romans thought was full of barbarians. The wall is 73-mile (118km) long and goes from Tyneside to the Solway Firth. It was built between AD122 and AD130.

When will the festival take place?

To commemorate the Wall’s 1,900th anniversary, there will be a year-long festival, with hundreds of events, varying from exhibitions, reenactments, competitions, hikes and so much more. The festival began on January 24 2022 - which was Hadrian’s birthday - all the way to December 23 which was the day to celebrate Saturnalia during Ancient Roman times.

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Here are some key events

  • February 27: Roman food in Britain This event is a free short walk that illustrates the foods the Romans brought to Britain. They’ll explain how and when which foods. You’ll also learn how much food we eat today came from the Romans.
  • March 03: Gone to the Wall is a family-friendly play that reenacts how Hadrian’s Wall was conceived, the way it was built and the arrival of thousands of legionaries to the North of Britannia in the year 122 in a comical way.
  • April 2-24: Easter Roman Adventure Quest. During half-term, why not try and crack the clues while exploring the surrounding area of Hadrian’s Wall. Begin your legendary Easter quest at Chesters Roman fort every day.
  • May 25: Time Travel With The Romans is great for all those with creative children in their families. This event is a short story competition with Hexham Book Festival. The theme is Time Travel With The Romans, where participants will focus on key issues at the time such as slavery, invasion, immigration integration and inclusion.
  • June 10-19: Northern Tales, an event where specially commissioned work by three writers and an illustrator will be shared to celebrate the county of Northumberland, its inhabitants, its agricultural heritage and historical connections. Naturally, the various works will highlight Hadrian’s Wall.
  • July 26-27: Roman Falconry highlights the importance of birds during a time when gods and goddesses ruled over the people.
  • August 27-28: Night Attack and Roman’s Return are reenactments of various Roman military elements, including trying out a Roman soldier school.
  • October 13-15: City of Lights will see multiple landmarks lit up such as Carlisle Cathedral, Tullie House Museum and Carlisle Castle.
  • November 25: Illuminate - a Festival of Flame, this is an annual event of fire music, poetry and community held at Hexham Abbey, which is always held on the last Friday of November.
  • December 17-23: Festival of Saturnalia, this one is more to encourage people to celebrate is themselves or with friends and family within their towns, to help with the festivities, a Saturnalia inspired performance installation will travel the wall, visiting communities and adding to the celebrations.

If you want the full list of events, why not check out their official page here.

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