Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


Join the Icelandic National Costume Festival in Stykkishólmur this weekend

By Staff

  • The Icelandic National Costume The women's costume is crowned by the tail cap. Photo/Norska húsið - Byggðasafn Snæfellinga og Hnappdæla.

The annual National Costume Festival, Skotthúfan or The Tail Cap, will be held this weekend, July 17-19 in Stykkishólmur. Stykkishólmur is a picturesque fishing village on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, considered by many to be one the most beautiful small towns in Iceland.

The festival is organized by the local history museum and the Norwegian House in Stykkishólmur. The festival began ten years ago, when the museum began inviting people who own national costumes to dress up and come to the museum for coffee and cakes. Since then the event has expanded and developed, becoming a annual tradition.

Friday evening: Evening prayer and concert with historic Icelandic psalms
This year‘s festival will last the entire weekend and include various performances and events. The program starts on Friday, July 17 at 20:00 in the old church in down-town Stykkishólmur, with an evening prayer and concert by Hugi Jónsson, singer and Kári Allansson organist, who will perform some of the best known Icelandic psalms, including Heyr, himna smiður the oldest known Nordic psalm, written in 1208. 


National costume Young woman wearing a national costume, complete with tail cap. Photo/Norska húsið.

Saturday: Women‘s suffrage and fashions
Other events include an exhibition of photographs depicting moments in the history of Icelandic women‘s rights, as well as the evolution of women‘s dress in Iceland after the granting of women‘s suffrage 100 years ago. Another exhibition will feature the work of Helga Ósk Einarsdóttir, jeweller, who has sought her inspiration in the traditional delicate women‘s jewellery of the Icelandic National Costume.

Guests can sit down for a cup of coffee and pönnukökur, the wafer thin Icelandic pancakes. And, of course, guests are encouraged to sport their Icelandic costumes. On Saturday evening a traditional kvöldvaka, or evening wake with singing, rhymes and poetry and storytelling at Tang & Riis Studio by the harbour.

Sunday: The most beautiful costume and most interesting tail cap
At 13:00 on Sunday an awards ceremony will be held for the most beautiful costume and the most interesting tail cap will be held at the old church.

Heyr, himna smiður

Last year a video of the Icelandic ensemble Árstíðir performing the hymn Heyr, himna smiður, at a train station in Germany went viral.


Further information on the event and photographs can be found at the facebook pages of Skotthúfan the National Costume Festival and The history museum.

Further information on the Icelandic national costume can be found at the website of the Icelandic National Costume Board.


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