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Culture night Posted by on Aug 21, 2011 in Icelandic customs

Culture night (Menningarnótt) was Saturday, 20th August. Which actually means it’s still going on as I type this. The first one was in 1996, and it’s been an annual tradition since. You can go to their website here to see the schedule of events.

We awoke too late to see a lot of the events, but we still managed to see some bands. There were a lot of people everywhere, and on the main streets it took forever to walk through the crowds – people brought prams, bicycles, and some people even tried to drive their cars through the streets when it was so crowded. Basically it was crowds and music everywhere, plus the smell of hotdogs and waffles.

Here’s what we managed to get (it was hard to take any good photos or videos because it was so crowded and loud).


Here was a band playing a bit before five off to the side of Laugavegur, if anyone knows which band they are please tell me! They sung in both English and Icelandic.


Lopapeysur in a second-hand shop.


These were right next to the stage for a band.


Nammi – candy.


Kolaportið, the flea market (“The coal yard” is what it means), was open as it usually is on the weekends. We got a slightly better photo of some lopapeysur I’ve shown before.


This was from inside the Faroese Consulate, which was on the third floor above “The English Pub”. They had some pamphlets and stories in Faroese, which I picked up. Written Faroese isn’t much different from Icelandic and seems more like a dialect than another language, but spoken Faroese sounds completely different. Faroese also has simpler grammar compared to Icelandic, but you’ll have a harder time finding learning materials if you don’t know Scandinavian. I’ve been told that a book on the differences between Faroese and Icelandic doesn’t exist.

Unfortunately we stumbled upon some good music right as the bands finished playing and couldn’t get any videos. I wanted to take photos of some booths and such but there were too many people in the way. If I find out that any of my friends took some photos I’ll edit this post later with them.


If anyone knows which band played right before the man in yellow started talking (I didn’t manage to record any of the band I’m talking about), please tell me! I always typo “Laugavegur” as Laugarvegur.

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About the Author:sequoia

I try to write about two-thirds of the blog topics on cultural aspects and one-third on the language, because there's much more out there already on the language compared to daily life information. I try to stay away from touristy things because there's more of that out there than anything else on Iceland, and I feel like talking about that stuff gives you the wrong impression of Iceland.