Destination Reykjavik (Keflavik)Destination Reykjavik (Keflavik)

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To doTo do

Iceland has retained strong links with its indigenous customs; its festivals combine Christian traditions with ancestral rites.

Iceland’s National Day is celebrated on 17 June, the anniversary of the establishment of the Republic and the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, the Independence hero of Iceland. This is an opportunity for Icelanders to wear their traditional costumes and for small children to paint their faces in the national colours. Many people gather in the city centre, to sing the Lofsöng, the national anthem.

The Christmas festivities, dear to every Icelander’s heart, run from 11 December until Epiphany. Every day until 24 December is marked by the arrival of one of the 13 Jólasveinar, mischievous imps who come down from the mountain where they live with their mother, Grýla, a giant with a reputation for eating naughty children. The end of year celebrations are also marked by the unforgettable spectacle of fireworks set off over the entire city from balconies and gardens by residents, on the evening of 31 December.

Other events not to be missed:
  • Food and Fun: in February, a 5-day event in which famous chefs from around the world go head to head in a culinary competition. The challenge to devise menus composed solely of Icelandic products.
  • 12 May to 5 June 2010: the Reykjavik Arts Festival showcases visual arts, theatre and music, and plays host to internationally renowned artists and musicians.
  • August is marked by Reykjavik’s Night of Culture and international marathon.
  • September brings the Reykjavik Jazz Festival.

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adults & children from the age of 12 yrs
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