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Festival of the Sea & The Day of the Fishermen (Sjómannadagurinn)

Festival of the Sea
Festival of the Sea

Iceland is a big fishing nation. Why, you ask yourself? Well because the sea around us is full of delicious fish. Iceland is one of the biggest fishing nation in the world, and fishery has always been a big part of our economy. That’s why we celebrate the Fishermen’s day yearly. Since the early 20th century, special fishermen’s masses were celebrated in churches before the ships went out to sea after the winter. This day is now a public holiday of fishermen by law. This day is also celebrated in small fishing villages around the country, even more than in Reykjavík.

The Festival of the Sea is a family event held on this day, this year on the weekend of June 6 and 7. It will be down by Reykjavík west harbour Grandagarður (next to the Maritime museum).

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The opening of the festival will marked by the blowing of a ship horn at 10 am Saturday.
  •  The only thing I remember from my childhood days at this festival: The Ugly Fish Display (Different fish types of strange fish on ice. Definitely recommended).
  • There will be music, a children’s play and more on the big stage, from 13:30-16:30 on both days.
  • You’ll be able to board some boats by the harbour to take a look inside.
  • Pirate sailing for the kids
  • The coast guard helicopter will provide a demonstration of a rescue procedure.
  • Barbecue in Víkin restaurant terrace.
  • Some special deals in the cafés, restaurants and whale watching companies – A great opportunity to look around the shops in the cute old Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Sailing competition

There’s a lot more than this going on so I suggest that everyone makes their way to the west harbour this weekend.

Festival of the Sea
An ugly fish.It's really ugly.

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