Expertise Iceland’s Distinctive Tradition and Traditions

Iceland’s valuable historical heritage lives in concord with probably the most thrilling improvements from right this moment’s world of tradition. From museums and artwork galleries to cutting-edge music festivals like Airwaves, you’ll discover the humanities are part of on a regular basis life.

It’s no shock that Icelanders have a deep love of folklore. From elves and trolls to superstitions like by no means leaving your rake tooth up or stepping on a blacksmith, there’s loads to find!


The great thing about Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes is well-established amongst journey vacationers, however there may be a lot extra to this distinctive island nation than meets the attention. The land of fireside and ice additionally boasts an historical heritage and quirky folklore that continues to form the tradition of Icelanders right this moment.

Driving in Iceland, from meals festivals to household traditions, there may be rather more to expertise than the Northern Lights and exploding geysers. With an professional information, you possibly can see what life was like for Viking settlers on the Nationwide Museum of Iceland or get a deeper understanding of the world-famous Sagas.

As a literary nation, Icelanders take nice satisfaction of their literary heritage. Many are avid readers, and 1 in 10 Icelanders publish a e-book throughout their lifetime. In addition they love artwork, and the nation has many museums and galleries to showcase this, from trendy and up to date works to historic items.

Summer season is all about music in Iceland, the place the land that gave the world Bjork hosts a Secret Solstice competition to mark the longest day of the yr, with 96 straight hours of daylight. As the times shorten in winter, males give items to their family members on Bondadagur (Ladies’s Day), and the nation celebrates a twelve-night Christmas with festivities that embrace bonfires and fireworks.



One of many stops on Iceland’s Golden Circle, Geysir, is a sight. This well-known pure phenomenon is the namesake for the phrase “geyser,” and it’s not only a fairly sight to see; it’s additionally an vital historic website, because it was the primary location the place the nation’s parliament—the Althing—met.

Geysir was initially named Stori-Geysir and was the primary geyser ever described in print, originating from the Latin verb geyser (to gush). It has eruptive cycles of round ten minutes, placing water excessive into the air with nice drive. It was the enormous geyser in Europe at its peak and spouts extra continuously than another geyser on Earth.

Whereas the eruptions are predictable, it’s nonetheless a magical expertise. It’s a well-liked cease for vacationers, however it’s doable to keep away from crowds by visiting earlier than 10 am or after 4 pm.

The geothermal space surrounding Geysir is sort of a effervescent cauldron, stuffed with belching mud pots of unusual colours and hissing steam vents that give the place an otherworldly look. It’s an unbelievable sight and the proper method to get a really feel for Iceland’s geologically lively underbelly. Strokkur, the geyser positioned only a few hundred meters south of Geysir, additionally erupts periodically with water and steam, reaching 30 meters.

Smoked Puffin

When touring to a brand new nation, there are an infinite variety of issues you could attempt to expertise—from exploring the important thing monuments and pure websites to visiting the native, lesser-known points of interest and, after all, making an attempt the native delicacies and traditions.

Icelandic tradition is a vibrant one that’s evident in some ways. From their love of literature to their sturdy Viking roots, it’s clear that the Icelandic persons are happy with their heritage.

The meals in Iceland can also be very distinctive. It’s because components have been scarce on the island in the course of the early phases of settlement. Subsequently, Icelanders developed quite a lot of dishes that at the moment are thought-about very particular. Thorramatur is a kind of delicacies eaten in the course of the historical Nordic month of thorri (January and February on a contemporary calendar). It consists of numerous offal dishes like rotten shark meat or Hakarl, putrefied duck breast or pig heads, singed sheep head jam, liver sausage, black pudding, and dried cod or haddock.

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The puffin is a nationwide chicken of Iceland, which is clear in how it’s handled. Though the IUCN has added Atlantic puffins to the endangered listing, it’s nonetheless authorized to hunt them, and they are often discovered all through the nation. The Latrabjarg cliffs within the Northern a part of the nation are identified for his or her puffin colonies, and you may see all of them yr spherical. They’re usually served smoked, giving the tender darkish meat a taste of recreation chicken and salty fish.



Conventional Meals

Icelanders are happy with their historical past and ties to Viking tradition however aren’t nonetheless prior to now. Trendy Icelanders are a trendy, tech-savvy bunch with many relaxed customs that may appear unusual to an outsider. That is very true relating to meals.

For instance, a well-known Icelandic dish is hakarl, a fermented shark meat with a pungent scent and an acquired style. It’s obtainable year-round in Icelandic grocery shops and eating places, however first-timers are suggested to pinch their nostrils whereas chewing. It’s additionally really useful to drink a shot of Brennivin, an Icelandic spirit, together with it.

Then there’s kjotsupa, a hearty lamb meat soup that comprises stricter components of the animal combined with numerous Icelandic greens and herbs. It’s excellent to have in the course of the colder months as it’ll heat you from the within out.

One other distinctive Icelandic delicacies is plokkfiskur, a fish stew that’s highly regarded amongst locals. It’s made with a white fish combine, potatoes, milk, flour, seasoning, and different doable components. It was initially a method for the Vikings to protect meals. Icelanders love this dish to at the present time, and it’s additionally a superb possibility for these searching for wholesome choices. So, strive it out in your subsequent journey to Iceland!

Kimberly Fisher

Kimberly Fisher is a Pursuitist contributor. As a contract author and on-camera host, Kimberly has traveled the world and has printed over 400 articles in over 44 publications together with Sherman’s Journey, Huffington Publish, JustLuxe, Luxurious Existence UK, eHow, Examiner, Meals Wine Journey Journal, Luxe Beat, NiteGuide, Ocean View, and USA Right now. Disclosure: Kimberly is beneath contract with Casa Del Sol.

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