Thursday, 12 July 2018

Iceland’s August Festivals and Celebrations

Summer is chock-full of events and festivals. It is a time to unwind and enjoy the weather, especially in Iceland. During the summer we are inundated with sunlight (more than almost anywhere else) and try and to take full advantage of it. This summer there is a whole host of fun activities and festivals happening all across Iceland. These can range from one-day events to 3-day camping festivals. Here is a quick sneak peek at the festivals and events in Iceland during August.

View of Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall during August in Iceland

Merchant's Day Festivals


On the first Monday in August, Icelandic communities celebrate and enjoy Merchant’s Day. This holiday is equivalent to a bank holiday, and we tend to enjoy it to the fullest. The weekend before Merchant’s Day is crazy. Every community has their own festivities, and the biggest ones are able to draw in thousands of visitors. The most popular of these festivals are Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum Festival in the Westman Islands, the Innipúkinn Festival in Reykjavik, and the Neistaflug ('Flying Sparks') festival in Neskaupstadur.

Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum Festival in the Westman Islands


The Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum Festival is one of the largest and most popular festivals in Iceland. Each year, the population of the Westman Islands quadruples in size for three days, and thousands enjoy live music, beer, and nature to the fullest. The festival was initially a family festival that began in the late 1800s, and since then it has evolved into another beast entirely. The festival has left its humble roots and is much more of an adult festival. The music has changed as well. Some of Iceland's most popular acts make their way through this venue, and at this point, it is almost a rite of passage. The festival culminates in a massive fireworks display with the festival goers joining in unison to sing along.

Summer fireworks display at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in August

The Innipúkinn Festival in Reykjavík 


The Innipúkinn Festival is held yearly in Reykjavik, and like the Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum Festival, it attracts the best musicians from across Iceland. This festival differs from its Westman Islands' cousin in that it is not a camping festival. This is a relief for any would-be germaphobes or those of you who can’t live without wifi. The festival is sure to be a good time as it always has incredible acts and events to celebrate Merchant’s Day.

Neistaflug ('Flying Sparks') Festival in Neskaupstadur


This festival is celebrated in the same vein as the Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum Festival because it started around the same time and it was initially a family festival. This is still very much a family festival, and the lineup of music is filled with burgeoning Icelandic musicians. Not much information has been released yet, but it definitely will be a spectacle.

Other Festivals in Iceland in August 


Music festivals aside, there are many different events and festivals taking place in Iceland during August. Every year, Iceland has its Gay Pride Festival in Reykjavik. The turnout is in the thousands, and it is a fun, friendly festival where every race, gender, and creed come together in solidarity for the LGBT community. It is an event that highlights the year.

On August 11th there will also be the annual fireworks show at Jökulsárlón. This is sure to illuminate your life because the massive fireworks display contrasts the icy blue glaciers surrounding the lake. It is one of the most spectacular events of the year.

Gay Pride Festival in August in Reykjavik

Lastly, is the yearly Fish Festival in Dalvík. The 10th through the 12th of August will be the yummiest event of the year. Every August the families of Davík prepare fish and different local foods to bring to the town festival. The best part is that its free for everyone! If you are in the area and hungry, make sure you stop in!

Events and Festivals in Iceland During August


No matter what festival you choose to go to this August in Iceland, remember to have fun. August means the end of summer and the beginning of fall. For a lot of Iceland, this time signals the last time the weather will be decent till next spring. If you are in Iceland during August remember to investigate the festivals taking place in the towns you are visiting, because there are sure to be a few!

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