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Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Iceland

Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Iceland

Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Iceland

  • Before planning a trip around a festival, verify the festival dates at the festival’s website or with a local tourist information office. For more information about these and other events, visit the official tourism site for Iceland.
  • This list includes selected festivals, plus national holidays observed in Iceland. Many sights and banks close down on national holidays — keep this in mind when planning your itinerary. Note that this isn’t a complete list; holidays can strike without warning.
  • See upcoming holidays and festivals


September 27–October 7:  Reykjavík International Film Festival

October 8:  John Lennon’s birthday and lighting of Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island, Reykjavík

November 7–10:  Iceland Airwaves music festival, Reykjavík

Late November–mid-December:  Christmas market in Heiðmörk woods (near Reykjavík)

Late November–December 25:  Christmas Village, Hafnarfjörður

December 1:  Centenary of Icelandic Independence (celebrations all over Iceland)

Mid-December:  Yule Lads Bath, Mývatn Nature Bath (Christmas festival with swimming yule lads)

December 23:  St. Þorlákur’s Day (Christmas shopping, evening strolling, traditional meals of fermented skate)

December 24:  Christmas Eve (businesses close at noon)

December 25–26:  Christmas Day and Second Day of Christmas (closures)

December 31:  New Year’s Eve (bonfires, fireworks, businesses close at noon)


January 1:  New Year’s Day (closures)

January 6:  Thirteenth Day of Christmas (Epiphany; bonfires and fireworks)

Mid-January–mid-February​:  Þorri (midwinter celebration from old Norse calendar)

January 24–February 3:  Reykjavík International Games

January 31–February 2:  Dark Music Days, Reykjavík (contemporary music festival)

February 4–6:  Reykjavík Folk Festival

February 7–10:  Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival

February 15–16:  Art in the Light, Seyðisfjörður

March 4–6 (likely):  Carnival (special foods; parades and costumes on Ash Wednesday)

March 7–10:  Rainbow Reykjavík Winter Pride

March 22–24:  Iceland Winter Games, Akureyri

March 28–31:  DesignMarch, Reykjavík (design festival)

April 9–14:  Children’s Culture Festival, Reykjavík

April 18–22 (likely):  Aldrei Fór Ég Suður music festival, Ísafjörður, Westfjords

April 18–22:  Easter weekend (Maundy Thursday through Easter Monday; closures)

April 25:  First day of summer on old Norse calendar (parades, sports, closures)

April 25–27:  Sónar Reykjavík (electronic music in Harpa)

May 1:  Labor Day (closures)

May 30:  Ascension (closures)

June 9–10:  Whitsunday and Whit Monday (closures)

Late May–early June (weekend):  Vaka Folk Festival, Akureyri

June (18 days):  Reykjavík Arts Festival

June 2:  Seaman’s Day (maritime festivals across Iceland)

Mid-June (6 days):  Viking Festival, Hafnarfjörður

June 17:  Icelandic National Day (parades, theater; closures)

June 19–22 (likely):  Arctic Open, Akureyri (golf tournament)

June 20–23 (likely):  Secret Solstice Festival, Reykjavík (contemporary and electronic music)

July 3–7 (likely):  Siglufjörður Folk Festival (Icelandic, Scandinavian and world music)

July 4–7:  Goslok Festival, Vestmannaeyjar (commemorates end of 1973 volcanic eruption)

July 13–15 (likely):  Medieval Trading Weekend, Gásir (near Akuyreri, recreation of a medieval trading village)

August 2–5 (likely):  Þjóðhátíð National Festival, Herjólfsdalur, Westman Islands (fireworks, bonfires, singing)

August 5:  Commerce Day, a.k.a. “Shop Workers’ Day Off”

August 6–11 (likely):  Reykjavík Pride

August 24:  Culture Night, Reykjavík (free admission to museums, other free events)

September:  Réttir (sheep roundup across Iceland)

September 4–8 (likely):  Reykjavík Jazz Festival

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