If you are looking for a updated version, check out blog post on Þjóðhátíð 2020 here.
August 2-4 2019
Are you prepared for Þjóðhátíð? The Westman Islands is ready for you! The festival starts on Friday, but a lot of people like to arrive earlier on Thursday, and most of the people stay until Monday. This celebration has no generation gap, and it is an Icelandic pride event where everyone enjoys itself. It is precisely in the Herjólfsdalur valley, north in the islands.
A little bit of history
Back in 1874 when the 1000th anniversary was happening in Iceland’s mainland, the residents of the Westman Islands couldn’t reach the party due to bad weather. So, they decided to hold their own celebration, and this ended up being what today we know as Þjóðhátíð.
The first festival of Þjóðhátíð was held in 1874, and since then, it is considered a celebration for all generations. Westman Islands is the place of gathering of 10,000 to 14,000 people that attend the festival each year. Imagine the Island’s population is only 4,000, so the number of people that travels to this festival is tremendous.
Every year a song is written for the festival, and one of the artists of the festival sings it and performs it on Sunday night. This tradition has made Icelanders learn the songs and sing it along at the festival.