Ólavsøka (national holiday)
Toward the end of July, Faroese from near and far descend upon Tórshavn to celebrate the national holiday. During the period 28 – 29 July, the population of Tórshavn nearly doubles.
The national holiday commemorates the death of St Olav, the king of Norway, who fell at the battle of Stiklastad in 1030.
A wealth of activities and events vie for the attention of young and old alike during these historic days. There is a constant flow of people up and down the central streets of Tórshavn, many wearing traditional Faroese dress and most every child has a festive balloon in hand.
This festival is held each year some two weeks after Ólavsøka and is designed to gather in funds for a swimming hall on Nólsoy island. The festival is named after one of the islands favourite sons, Ova Joensen, who in 1986 rowed by himself from Nólsoy to Copenhagen in a small open boat.
The capital hosts a major music festival known as Asfalt (literally, asphalt, as in street festival). The purpose of the festival is to support the on-going development of Faroese music and to focus on Faroese music and the diversity of musical talent found in the Faroes.
The first Friday in June is Culture Night in the Municipality. As the name implies, the capital of Tórshavn is awash in cultural events and activities, featuring music, lectures, and a multitude of entertainment for young and old, a true people’s festival. The Tórshavn Information Office is the main organizer of Culture Night.
Tórshavn Information Office (Kunningarstovan)
Vaglið, FO-100 Tórshavn
Telephone: +298 30 24 25. Fax: +298 30 24 26