There’s a great variety of annual festivals, holidays and cultural events happening somewhere in Reykjavik every month. Here’s a round-up featuring all our favourite events in the city from January to June.

JANUARY

Thorrablót

My Thorrablót feast!

 

Thorrablót is a traditional winter festival coinciding with the old Icelandic month of Thorri. It involves a lot of traditional Icelandic food, so don’t be surprised if restaurant menus during this time list dishes such as sour ram’s testicles (súrsaðir hrútspungar), putrid shark, singed sheep’s head (svið) or liver and suet pudding (lifrarpylsa).

WHEN: 20 Jan-19 Feb

WHERE: In homes and restaurants all around Iceland

Reykjavík International Games

The Karate Kids at the Reykjavik International Games 2013.

The Reykjavík International Games is an annual multi-sport event that invites both Icelandic and international athletes to complete in Reykjavík. rig.is

WHEN: 26 Jan-5 Feb

WHERE: Laugardalur Sports Valley in Reykjavik

Dark Music Days FestivalHarpa ©Roman Gerasymenko

The Dark Music Days Festival is one of the oldest music festivals in Iceland and provides a platform for Icelandic composers to showcase their work. darkmusicdays.is

WHEN: 26-28 Jan

WHERE: The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre

FEBRUARY

Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival

Hallgrímskirkja Church at the Winter Lights Festival in Reykjavík.. Light installation by Marcos Zotes. All images by Roman Gerasymenko

The Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival features fantastic light installations, dances, winter sports exhibitions, swimming-pool night and a Museum Night during which many museums staying open until late. There’s usually a free bus service to shuttle people from one museum to the next. vetrarhatid.is

WHEN: 2-5 Feb

WHERE: Various venues in Reykjavik

Rainbow Reykjavík Winter Pride

The Blue Lagoon. Image by Roman Gerasymenko

Rainbow Reykjavík Winter Pride combines nature, nightlife, the northern lights and some world class cuisine during a three-day small pride festival. rainbowreykjavik.is

WHEN: 9-12 Feb

WHERE: Reykjavik City and South Iceland

Sónar ReykjavíkReykjavik Sonar Crowd11 ©Roman Gerasymenko

Sónar Reykjavík is an international festival of advanced music, technology and creativity hosted annually in Reykjavík since 2013. sonarreykjavik.com

WHEN: 16-18 Feb

WHERE: The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Stockfish European Film Festival 

The Stockfish European Film Festival is an international festival celebrating the best of new European cinema. stockfishfestival.is

WHEN: 23 Feb – 5 March

WHERE: Bíó Paradís Cinema, Reykjavík

MARCH

The Food and Fun Festivalfood and fun 01 © Roman Gerasymenko

The Food and Fun Festival attracts top chefs from around the country and around the world. A very good time to be eating out! foodandfun.is

WHEN: 1-5 March

WHERE: Select restaurants in Reykjavík

Reykjavik Folk Festival

The Reykjavik Folk Festival Stage. Image by Roman Gerasymenko

At the Reykjavik Folk Festival, some of Iceland’s best musicians, both young and old, come together for a three-day celebration of fabulous of folk music. folkfestival.is

WHEN: 2-4 March

WHERE: Kex Hostel

Design MarchDesign march 38 © Roman Gerasymenko

Design March is an annual event showcasing the best creations straight from the Icelandic design scene, with fresh, exciting, exotic and under-the-radar treasures. honnunarmars.is

WHEN: 23-26 March

WHERE: Various venues in Reykjavík

Bolludagur

Cream-buns at Myllan bakery ready to go! Image by Roman Gerasymenko

Bolludagur, or ‘bun day’, is the Icelandic national day for eating delicious cream puffs.

WHEN: Monday before Ash Wednesday

WHERE: All around Iceland

Sprengidagur

Sprengidagur, ‘bursting day’, is for eating salted meat and pea soup – to bursting point. It’s a welcome relief after all the cream puffs from the day before.

WHEN: Tuesday before Ash Wednesday

WHERE: All around Iceland

Öskudagur

Oskudagur in Reykjavik 2014.Image by Roman Gerasymenko

Öskudagur is Ash Wednesday when the streets of Reykjavík fill with witches, wolves, pirates and Pippi Longstockings – children in costume making their way from door to door singing for sweets.

WHEN: Ash Wednesday

WHERE: All around Iceland

The Icelandic Music Experimentshormonar_09-roman-gerasymenko

The Icelandic Music Experiments is an annual music festival hosted yearly in Reykjavík showcasing numerous up-and-coming Icelandic artists. musiktilraunir.is

WHEN: 25 March – 1 April

WHERE: The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre

APRIL

The Iceland Writers RetreatNorthern Lights 007 © Roman Gerasymenko

The Iceland Writers Retreat is a series of workshops and panels led by award-winning and best-selling international writers. In between intimate workshops and lectures, participants go on literary tours of Iceland’s natural wonders and learn about the country’s rich literary tradition. Icelandwritersretreat.com

WHEN: 5-9 April

WHERE: Based out of Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura

The Eve Online FanfestCrowds go crazy at EVE Online after party with Skalmold. Image by Roman GerasymenkoThe Eve Online Fanfest invites countless fans from around the world to meet in Reykjavík for an exciting three-day adventure, featuring fantastic tournaments, keynote speeches, design presentations, parties and lots of geeky player camaraderie

WHEN: 6-8 April

WHERE: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre

The Reykjavík Blues Festival

Samuel Jon Samuelsson perming at Airwaves off-venue Lucky Records. Image by Roman Gerasymenko

At the Reykjavík Blues Festival blues artists from Europe, Iceland and North America perform together in the world’s most northerly capital cityblues.is

WHEN: 8-13 April

WHERE: Various music venues in Reykjavik

The Children’s Culture Festival

Pall Oskar gives a glittering performance at The Children's Culture Festival Reykjavik. Image by Roman Gerasymenko

The Children’s Culture Festival is a celebration packed with glittering events, performances and creativity, with the key emphasis being on the creative input of local children. childrensculturefestival.is

WHEN: 25-30 April

WHERE: Various venues around Reykjavik city

MAY

Startup Iceland

Startup Iceland 12 © Roman Gerasymenko

Startup Iceland is an annual conference showcasing the best and most exciting startups in Iceland.

WHEN: 31 May

WHERE: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Reykjavík Arts Festival

Reykjavik Arts Festival 2014. Image by Roman Gerasymenko

The Reykjavík Arts Festival promotes Icelandic and international culture in all fields of art. listahatid.is

WHEN: Mid-May to early June

WHERE: In museums and arts venues around Reykjavík

JUNE

The Reykjavík Air Show

Landing in the land of the midnight sun, Keflavík Iceland. ©Roman Gerasymenko

The Reykjavík Air Show is hosted annually at Reykjavík Airport by the National Aviation Society (Flugmálafélagið Íslands). flugdagurinn.is

WHEN:Date to be announced

WHERE: Reykjavík Airport

The Viking Festival

Viking Festival 013 © Roman GerasymenkoThe Viking Festival – a festival of Viking culture, attracting Viking enthusiasts from all around the world, some in full Viking costume. Highlights include markets, dances, music and wrestling. fjorukrain.is

WHEN: Mid June – date to be announced

WHERE: The Viking Villiage in Hafnarfjörður

Secret Solstice

SECRET SOLSTICE

Secret Solstice is an Icelandic music festival that showcases both established artists as well as exciting up-and-coming talent over the course of three days in the 24 hour midnight sun during the summer solstice. secretsolstice.is

WHEN: 16-18 June

WHERE: Laugardalur Spring Valley, Reykjavík

Independence Day

Flag of Iceland. Image by Roman Gerasymenko

Iceland’s Independence Day, or National Day – Þjóðhátíðardagurinn. On this day in 1944, the Republic of Iceland was formed. June 17 was the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, a major figure of the 19th-century Icelandic independence movement. Festivities in most towns. Parades in Akureyri and Reykjavík, plus street theatres, dancing and other performances.

WHEN: 17 June

WHERE: Celebrated in Reykjavík city centre and every town and village in Iceland

 

 

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