Verslunarmannahelgi

A feast for serious feasters
29.7.2011
Words by
Chances are you have not been properly introduced to the term Verslunarmannahelgi. This labour day / bank holiday equivalent, dedicated to Icelandic merchants, is celebrated every summer on the first Monday in August (and all through the preceding weekend).

While only a small group of Icelanders belong to the class of merchants, they do celebrate this holiday in their honour with considerable enthusiasm. In true Icelandic fashion, thousands of people attend large outdoor festivals, camping in the great outdoors, and enjoying a lot of live music, while sending off summer with a last hurrah.

Others take to the road, often on camping trips, only without the music (and the thousands of people to go with the music). As a result, this is usually the biggest weekend for domestic travel for Icelanders. You can expect packed roads and deserted towns.

Should you find yourself in Iceland during Verslunarmannahelgi, you may want to take a look at some of the festivals available. The largest outdoor festivals are usually the modestly named National Festival in Vestmannaeyjar Islands, The One With Everything Festival in Akureyri and The Flying Sparks festival in Neskaupsstaður. If camping is not your thing, there is also the annual music festival Innipúkinn in Reykjavík.

In addition, there are two large annual sporting events during the weekend. One is the Teenagers’ National Competition, held in Egilsstaðir this year, and the European Championship in Swamp Soccer in Ísafjörður.

In conclusion, here is a list of Verslunarmannahelgi festivals that have been announced. Have fun!  

Ein með öllu (‘The One With Everything Festival’)
Where: Akureyri
When: July 28 - August 1
Entrance: FREE

Færeyskir fjölskyldudagar ('Faroese family days’)
Where: Stokkseyri
When: July 29 - July 31
Entrance: Friday, 1990 ISK, Saturday, 4400 ISK, and Sunday, 4400 ISK


Innipúkinn Festival
Where: Reykjavík
When: July 29 - July 31
Entrance: 4500 ISK (three-day pass) / 2.900 ISK (single day)

Neistaflug ('Sparks')
Where
: Neskaupstaður
When: July 28 - July 31
Entrance: FREE, with the exception of select events


'Síldarævintýri' (Herring Festival)
Where: Siglufjörður
When: July 29 - August 1
Entrance: FREE


Sæludagar (Happy days)
Where: Vatnaskógur
When: July 28 - July 31
Entrance: 4000 ISK


Þjóðhátíð
Where: Vestmannaeyjar
When: July 29 - August 1
Entrance: 16900 ISK


Unlingalandsmót UMFÍ
Where: Egilsstaðir
When: July 29 - July 31
Entrance: 6000 ISK


Swamp soccer
Where: Ísafjörður
When: July 30 - August 1
Registration fee
: 7000 ISK

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