January/February: “Þorrablót” (February-blood) – an old Viking tradition to celebrate the Viking gods and the month of Þorri. We no longer make animal sacrifices to the gods but the feast includes traditional Icelandic food like dried fish, fermented shark, sheep-heads, haggis, pickled rams testicles and other strange food. This is washed down with Brennivín aka Black Death.
April: The third Thursday of the month we celebrate the first day of summer “sumardagurinn fyrsti.” This is often held in a last snow storm, just to remind us that winter will be here again soon.
May: 1st is a public holiday, International Labour Day, and celebrated in the local community.
June: The last Saturday of May or first Saturday of June is the “Fisherman’s Day” in Iceland. In Skagaströnd it is a major event with festivities and competitions such as rowing and tug-of-war. In the second weekend of June, the annual Knitting Festival takes place in Blönduós. The Icelandic Textile Center is the host. Our Independence Day is June 17th with festivities, a parade in Blönduós and some other activities. The summer solstice is on June 21st., the longest day of the year, the sun skims the horizon.
May through July: Blönduós is very close to the polar circle where the midnight sun never sets. The months of May through July are therefore very bright with only part dusk/dawn in the middle of the night. The sun in fact circles the sky, touching on north, south, east, and west. Húnavaka, a three day long city festival, takes place the third weekend in July. There are lots of free events and live music in the evening.
August: Skagaströnd, our neighboring town holds a town festival.
September: The sheep and horse roundup is something not to be missed. This gathering of farmers, locals and tourists all trying to control a bunch of wild sheep and horses that are now brought back from the mountains is a true event. There are often country balls after the round up. If you want, you can try the sheep round up, running up and down hills to steer them down hill together with locals. Dates vary year to year depending on the weather, it is usually the first weekend of September, but it can also be held early in August, depending.
November through January: Because of the latitude of Blönduós the sun plays a part with only about 3-5 hours of daylight and the sun barely above the horizon, rising and setting in the south (south east to south west). This makes very long and beautiful sunsets. The coldest time of the year is December through February but not as cold as you think. The gulf stream and our coastal location ensures the constant freezing then thawing as temperatures rise above and below 0°C. If you want to experience snow, ice, darkness, breathtaking skies, and changing weather conditions this is the time of year to visit.