Everyone knows about the natural beauty of Iceland, but only a few of us know about the cultural and festive beauty of this lively nation. Festivals in Iceland brings warmth and high-spirits to beat the cold climatic conditions. All festivals are celebrated with great joy and celebrations are accompanied by decorations, parades and events happening all across the length and breadth of the Island.
7 Best Festivals In Iceland
The are countless festivals celebrated in Iceland and you will confused which one to attend and which one to skip. But you witness at least one of these festivals that we have shortlisted for you to enhance your visit to this fairy-tale nation.
1. Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival
The Winter Lights Festival celebrates both winters and the emerging daylight after the dark days of winter are over. A lot of people are attracted to this beautiful event where all the buildings and facades of the city are illuminated to celebrate coming of daylight back to the country. This is a really important festival for the Icelandic people continuing for days where events like Museum Night and Pool Night happen. The Museums of the country open their doors to the public for free so that they can enjoy various cultural activities there. On the Pool night, people are given a free pass to enjoy the Geothermal hot pools all for free.
2. Reykjavik Pride
In August of each year, the biggest festival celebrating the LGBT community happens on the streets of the capital city of Iceland. The week-long festival features various seminars, lectures, pride parades and fancy dress competitions. More than 100,000 people from all over the world come to celebrate this festival. You can buy yourself a pride pass to get entry to all the events happening during the festival. The best day of the festival is Saturday when the city is painted in a sea of rainbow colours, with the remarkable pride parade happening all day long. This is one of the most important festivals in Iceland.
3. Design March
Started in the year 2008, this is one of the most important design festivals in Iceland. The festival has over 100 events planned each emphasising on different aspects and genres of designs such as food designing, furniture designing, dress designing, etc. Renowned designers from all over the world and Iceland come to participate in the festival. The two main highlights of the festival is the Design Talk where both international and local designers discuss about modern designing and the challenges. The second highlight is the Design Match, where the local designers have the opportunity to come up close with the international designers and brands to network and even sign contracts.
4. Icelandic National Day
Iceland got its independence from Danish rule on 17 June 1944, which is celebrated each year as the National Day of Iceland. This is the most important festival of the year in Iceland and the celebrations take place throughout the nation. The biggest celebrations takes place in the center of the capital city between 10 am and 6 pm, with carnival parades and marching bands. The highlight of the day is the recitation of poetry by a lady (chosen by popular vote) dressed in traditional Iceland clothing, representing the revered ‘mountain lady’.
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5. Secret Solstice Festival
This is one of the most popular Icelandic Festivals. Celebrated each year on the day of the Summer Solstice. People wait till midnight to see the night sun because they have waited all winters for the daylight to come. The enthusiasm of this festival continues all through the night until the daylight appears. This day becomes a great opportunity to socialise with locals and enjoy the nightlife of Reykjavik.
6. New Year’s Eve
Like every other nation on the planet, Iceland goes absolutely ballistic on the eve of New Year. Considered to be one of the top festivals in Iceland, the New Year’s Eve celebration is filled with lighting, food, firecrackers, bonfires, and festivities. Most shops are open till 1 am while the public hangout zones such as bars, clubs, and lounges are opened up all night on this eve. People from all across the Island come to the capital city to enjoy some epic celebrations. This is one of those days when the Icelandic people show the world how hard they party.
7. Iceland Airwaves Music Festival
Just before the turn of the century in 1999, a music festival happened in an aeroplane hangar in Reykjavik which changed the ‘international music calendar’ forever. Considered to be one of the best music festivals in Iceland and the world, the Airwaves Music Festival attracts thousands of attendees from round the world to witness both international, as well as local Icelandic performances, creating the ‘hippiest long weekend on the annual music festival calendar’ as labelled by the well famed Rolling Stones Magazine. Reviewed as simply legendary by most visitors, this is a must attend festival if you are in Iceland during the months of October and November.
Famed for its beauty, Iceland is slowly becoming popular for its party and festive scenes as well. Since the world has got to know how much the Icelandic people love to party, there has been an explosion of international tourism to the country both for natural beauty and for food, festive culture of this small but party hungry island nation. So, plan a trip now and be a part of some of the most lit festivals of many international around the world.