Þjóðhátíð, also known as “National Holiday,” is a wild and unforgettable music and cultural festival held in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. With a name that is difficult to pronounce (it means “national holiday” in Icelandic), this festival is a must-attend for those seeking a unique and authentic experience. Known as the Valhalla of music festivals, Þjóðhátíð is an experience like no other. To fully embrace the spirit of the festival, it is recommended to wear day-glo fisherman’s rubber and bring plenty of alcohol to keep warm. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Icelandic culture at its finest in the beautiful town of Vestmannaeyjar.

The location of Þjóhátíð, also known as Verslunarmannahelgi, is the Westman Islands or Vestmannaeyjar. This festival takes place on the Westman Islands, a small archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. Þjóhátíð has been held annually in the Westman Islands since 1874, making it Iceland’s oldest festival. It celebrates the anniversary of the islands’ settlement and is a celebration of epic proportions, with a combination of geographic isolation, friendly islanders, and a wild history that make it one of Iceland’s most fascinating festivals.

The Westman Islands are located off the south coast of Iceland and can be reached by a short ferry ride from the mainland. This annual festival, called Verslunarmannahelgi, takes place in late July or early August and is a celebration of the shopkeepers’ holiday. It is Iceland’s oldest festival, dating back to 1874, and originally served as a way for the isolated islanders to celebrate the anniversary of 1,000 years of settlement in Iceland.

Over the years, Verslunarmannahelgi has grown into a celebration of epic proportions, with a variety of events and activities taking place on the island. These include concerts, cultural performances, sporting events, and of course, plenty of partying and revelry. This is a unique opportunity to experience the wild history and friendly island culture of Iceland, and is not to be missed.

During Verslunarmannahelgi, the entire island becomes a party zone, with locals setting up white tents all over the place for guests to drink, dance, and make merry in. Everybody is welcome at the festival, as long as they behave themselves and respect the locals and their homes. The festival is a true celebration of community and togetherness, with people coming together from all over the country to celebrate their Icelandic heritage and enjoy the beauty of the Westman Islands.

That’s why the locals of Vestmannaeyjar set up rows of white tents for festival-goers to take shelter in. These tents provide a warm and dry place to rest and recuperate, but also serve as a gathering place for people to meet and socialize.

While the festival is primarily for locals, everyone is welcome as long as they behave themselves and respect the community. The Þjóhátíð festival is a celebration of Icelandic culture and history, and is a unique opportunity for visitors to experience traditional music, dance, and food. So don your best day-glo fisherman’s rubber, bring your sense of adventure, and join in the fun at the Þjóhátíð festival in Vestmannaeyjar!

Most importantly, bring a sense of adventure and a willingness to embrace the unpredictable nature of the Icelandic weather. While you may not have the warm, sunny beach festival experience you may be used to, the unique, rugged beauty of the Westman Islands and the unbridled energy of Þjóhátíð will create memories that will last a lifetime. And don’t worry about fitting in – everyone is welcome as long as they behave and respect the traditions and culture of the festival. So join in the fun, sing and dance with the locals, and experience the magic of Þjóhátíð for yourself.

Þjóðhátíð Highlights

On Friday night, the festival will feature a massive bonfire that illuminates the valley and is the main attraction of the evening. Later, some of Iceland’s top bands will keep the party going until the early morning hours. The bonfire and music are sure to make for a memorable night.


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On Saturday night, the party will reach its peak with music, DJs, and dancing that will go on until the early morning hours. When it gets dark, the highlight of the evening will be a spectacular fireworks display that rivals even Reykjavik’s New Year’s Eve pyrotechnics.


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On Sunday night, the festival will end with a traditional Icelandic sing-along of popular ballads that everyone seems to know by heart. Even if you don’t know the words, you can join in by humming along to the tunes. The grand finale of the festival will be a spectacular recreation of Eldfell’s famous lava eruption, with thousands of people holding torches gathering around the rim of the volcano. It will be a beautiful and unforgettable way to end this unique festival.


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It will be hard to miss the locals at the festival, as they will be easy to spot in their white tents. These tents are often occupied by people who live on the islands and are excited to share their culture and traditions with visitors. Take the opportunity to chat with them and learn more about their way of life. You may even make some new friends in the process! Don’t be shy – the locals are friendly and welcoming, and are sure to be happy to meet you.

Smoked puffin is a traditional Icelandic delicacy that is often enjoyed at festivals and other celebrations. If you are feeling adventurous, you may want to give it a try. The locals are sure to appreciate your willingness to try their traditional food, and you may discover that you enjoy it. Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things – you never know what you might like!

If you want to fully immerse yourself in the festival atmosphere, you may want to consider wearing a traditional Icelandic dayglow fisherman’s suit. These bright, colorful suits are a common sight at Icelandic festivals and other events, and are sure to make you stand out in the crowd. You can purchase a dayglow suit at the festival or at a local store. Wearing one of these suits will not only help you fit in with the locals, but it will also help you be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw your way. The suits are made to be waterproof and windproof, and will keep you warm and dry in all weather conditions.


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It is important to plan ahead and purchase your ferry tickets early if you want to attend the festival. The ferry tickets tend to sell out quickly as the event approaches, so it is best to buy them as early as possible to secure your spot. You can purchase your tickets online or at a local travel agency. It is also a good idea to leave early to catch the departing ferry, as they tend to be very full and it may be difficult to get a spot if you wait until the last minute. When it is time to return home, make sure to leave plenty of time to catch the ferry back as well. The ferries can be quite busy on the return trip and it is best to be safe rather than risk missing the boat.

If you want to save money on alcohol at the festival, it is a good idea to purchase it in advance. Keep in mind that stores in Iceland tend to close early, around 4pm, so be sure to stock up before then. The best place to buy alcohol is at a state-owned store called ÁTVR, as these are the only places where alcohol is sold (with the exception of bars and restaurants, which can be quite expensive). If you wait until the festival to purchase your alcohol, you may end up paying more than you had planned. So, to save money and ensure that you have enough to drink, it is best to plan ahead and buy your alcohol in advance.