Þjóðhátíð

What a beauty this photo is. Taken on Þjóðhátíð, one of the biggest festivals in Iceland and is held each year in the beginning of August in Westman Islands. It’s a three days music and family festival and is just one of a kind. I really want to tell you more about it but most of all the pictures that my husband took just says more than a thousand words.

 

This Festival was held first in 1874, so it’s quite old. They were having a big festival in Þingvellir to celebrate thousand years of Christianity.  But the weather was so bad that the people from the island couldn’t go to the mainland.  So they just made their own festival and it still going strong.

Þjóðhátíð

It is a special feeling that comes with the festival. The local people bring their white tents, that put a special look on the valley along with the other decorations and buildings.

 

In the tents, we have all kinds of good food and the families are together preparing for the tent. Then on the Friday, we put on our better clothes and hed for the setting of the festival. Everybody are happy because the festival is starting.

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One of my favourite part is when everybody are getting together to have some coffee and cake after the setting of the festival.

 

Sometimes the weather is so good that we can have it outside. Just enjoying meeting everybody walking around and taking it all in. Everybody are excited and children running around playing.

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Most of the locals go home and have a family dinner, also to put on some warmer clothes and prepare for the night.  We come back to watch the show.

Each night on the festival we have a different highlight at midnight. On Friday night, we have the great bonfire. It is just so great and you can just feel the heat from it from where you stand.

Brennan
Brennan
Brennan

So the festival can happen we have to have many helping hands. The team that takes care of the bonfire need to be brave. No outsider is aloud op close with them because it’s a little dangerous, but my husband got invited to go up there to take some Photos. The photos are magical and of course, you have to have a team photo of the brave guys.

Þjóðhátíð

After midnight we take the kids home and return into the valley and party some more. There is a great music playing, people dancing, some are having guitar party in the tents. Some are staying out the whole night just having fun 🙂

 

 

The day after the Saturday we come back into the valley with our kids, relax and listen to the music and watch them have fun.

 

 

In the evening we usually sit in the hill friends and family together, and we are watching the show. All of Iceland’s best musicians are entertaining and just so great sitting in the fresh air and enjoying the show.

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What a show … It is just so much fun.  A few years ago we got a new big stage to host the main show. It is just so great and the sound is terrific. The dancefloor in front and the whole hill to sit in and watch over the crowd.  Enjoying the music and the lights of the festival and waiting for the highlight of the Saturday night. The firework show….

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It is amazing feeling sitting in the grass watching the fireworks. Hearing the acoustic from the mountains, and the beautiful colours, the fireworks are lighting up the whole valley.

 

 

One thing that is also entertaining is noticing all the friend groups visiting the festival.  And there is a fun custom that some of the friend groups, are dressing up in a costume. They arrive together on Friday night as a group in the costume. And on Saturday night the best costume wins.  So it’s a contest … 🙂

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celebration
guitarparty

The guitar parties in the white tents are famous around Iceland. We have a big song collection connected to the Island. And every year from 1933 we have had a new festival song. So each year we wait with an excitement for the new song. Of course, we are singing all kinds of things in the tents, just what is popular each time.

The Sunday night is the most popular night. There have been over 15.000 people at the festival. So why is the Sunday night so popular.  I think it is because it is the last night and then there is the sing-along in the hill.  Just imagine 15.000 people sitting in the grassy hill and all singing together. Only one man on the stage with a guitar….. You can hear the singing from far away. Then at midnight, we light up about 140 red flares that just light up the valley in a red glow ( one for each year of the festival). The first picture in this blog shows it well. Then we have some more fireworks. It is so amazing feeling seeing all of this and everybody are just so happy… 🙂

 

 

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