EVENTS IN REYKJAVIK
There are many events taking place throughout the year in Iceland - why not come and experience some of the most traditional events of the calendar or an event that sparks a special interest!
End of January
Midwinter visitors to Iceland can hardly fail to notice the ancient Viking feast of Thorrablot, now a popular feature at many restaurants. In January and February, wander into any town or village and you will be invited to join the locals in sampling some of their more unusual culinary delicacies. An iron stomach and a strong constitution are useful - the feast usually involves of a lot of meat, but you won't be offered a nice slice of rump steak. Instead you'll be faced with the animal's head, complete with eyes to be plucked out and savoured, while the testicles are pleasantly pickled for your enjoyment.
Food and Fun
World famous chefs from all other world come to Reykjavik to this culinary festival, to offer a specific menue in cooperation with Reykjavik´s best restaurants for one week. In this menue, only fresh and natural Icelandic ingredients are allowed and used. On the last day of the festival the chefs enter a competition, in which they have to produce three different dishes which only involve fresh Icelandic products. An event which you shouldn´t miss! Reserving a table is highly recommended. For more information visit Food and Fun Festival.
Reykjavik Arts Festival
First held in 1970, the Reykjavik Arts Festival celebrates the arts with a vibrant mix of national and international performances throughout the island. This season, the festival offers a wide variety of events, please consult the festival's website for more information.
Beginning of June
Festival of the Sea
All the fishermen of Iceland - and there are lots of them - take this first Sunday in June off as a holiday. Officially known as Sjomannadagur (Seafarers' Day), it's a time for rowdy parties, parades and speeches. The fishermen compete in swimming and rowing races and other tests of strength including the ever-popular tug-of-war. In Reykjavik the fun is all part of a Festival of the Sea weekend.
National Day - 17th of June
Crowds flock onto the streets throughout Iceland on 17 June every year to commemorate the birthday of national hero Jón Sigurdsson (1811-1879). The day tends to start off on a solemn and patriotic note, but by the afternoon the mood changes and it's time to party! Everyone takes the day off to be entertained by street performances, theatre and fire-eaters and to enjoy the real festival atmosphere.
Midsummer - 21st of June
Visitors are welcomed by Icelanders as they gather around Reykjavik and across the country to celebrate the magic of the midnight sun on the longest day of the year. The solstice is the apex of a long month of endless sunshine, during which the sun remains constantly in the sky, never setting. Unlike some other Scandinavian countries, formally organised events are rare, but visitors will find plenty of family get togethers with bonfires, feasting and parties.
A game of midnight golf seems an unlikely prospect to many enthusiasts and few golfers have experienced this delight. But now you have a novel opportunity to participate in an event which features round-the-clock golf in midsummer at high latitudes. The Akureyri Golf Club hosts this tournament which is known as The Arctic Open Golf Championship.
The second week in August is the focal point for Iceland's biggest LGBTQ pride celebration, with parties, parades and theatre shows throughout the capital of Reykjavik. The Icelandic LGBTQ community is small and centres on its capital. As a result it is intimate and friendly, but welcomes input from abroad. Hotels are usually fully booked around the celebrations, so make your bookings well in advance.
Reykjavik Marathon and Culture Night
The Reykjavik Culture Night has become an essential part of the city's cultural scene. Usually held in August when the midnight sun still keeping things light for almost 24 hours, Reykjavikites fill the streets to celebrate Iceland's vibrant culture.
The marathon livens up the streets of downtown Reykjavik every August and hundreds of visitors from around the world take part alongside thousands of locals. For many, the famously fresh air is a welcome change from the pollution of the big city streets abroad.
Started in 1984 by two travel agents wanting to encourage visitors to discover Iceland, there were 214 participants in the first run. Two decades on and, since since the late 1990s tied to the annual - and popular - Reykjavik Culture Night - the marathon attracts over 3,500 runners in all events, including around 500 from abroad.
The amazing multi-venue city festival will takes place in Reykjavik in the beginning of November. Dubbed “the hippest long weekend on the annual music festival calendar” by David Fricke of Rolling Stone, Airwaves celebrates music, featuring cutting edge acts in one of the most unique settings on earth, the eclectic and intimate venues throughout Reykjavik’s charming city centre. Airwaves will continue to attract a large crowd from Denmark, Sweden or Norway, and is not to be missed by any music enthusiast.