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29-07-2016

Ólavsøka Festival celebrated on the Faroe Islands

Like Glastonbury With More FishI

f you’re currently on the Faroe Islands, that delightful archipelago up above Scotland and a bit between Iceland and Norway, then chances are you won’t be reading this. As today is Ólavsøka! The biggest, baddest most excitingest summer festival that the Faroese ever let their hair down at. Commemorating the death of Saint Olaf at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030, it consists of several days of processions, brass bands, banners, various boat races, singing, drinking, football games, concerts and the state opening of parliament.

Which is, I feel, what Saint Olaf would have wanted. Residents from all eighteen Faroe Islands descend on the capital Tórshavn to reconnect with long lost relatives, revel in their Faroeness and then try beat them in some rowing-based competitive sporting event. There’s also the midnáttarsangurin, or the mass choral midnight singing, which is really fun if you’re involved, but a bit annoying if they’re under your hotel bedroom window.