PHOTOS: Icelanders celebrating ‘Verslunarmannahelgi’

You may have noticed that yesterday, the first Monday in August, was a public holiday in Iceland.

It is a public holiday dedicated to merchants and the preceding weekend is known as ‘Verslunarmannahelgi’ (literally meaning ‘merchants’ weekend’). This weekend before the first Monday in August is traditionally espoused by Icelanders and dedicated to festivities, travel and merriment.

The timing of the holiday is a throwback to the time when almost all workmen in Iceland took their holidays at exactly the same time.

Nowadays, the whole country gets on board. Verslunarmannahelgi is a time for large outdoor festivals, live music, travel, camping and – often – drinking alcohol! The biggest and most famous outdoor festival is the Þjóðhátíð in the Westman Islands, which lasts from Thursday to Monday.

Here is a selection of photos taken by one of our photographers Ófeig­ur Lýðsson, at the Þjóðhátíð on Sunday.

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