Culture and the arts

Here you can view in chronological order all the fun annual events held in town.

Twelfth Day Festival in Ásvellir

On the Twelfth Day, 6th of January every year, we bid farewell to Christmas with dancing and singing at a splendid Twelfth Day festival in Ásvellir. Santa Claus, Grýla, Leppalúði, elves and demons entertain, and the festival ends with a spectacular fireworks display by the Hafnarfjörður Search and Rescue Team.

Winter festival

The Winter Festival is held on the first weekend in February. Its main purpose is to give the residents of the Greater Reykjavík Area the opportunity to enjoy culture, art, sports and outdoor activities in their own municipality or to visit their neighbours in the surrounding municipalities.

Bjartir dagar

Bjartir dagar is a cultural festival that reflects all the diverse cultural work that takes place in Hafnarfjörður, which is carried out by institutions, non-profit organisations, companies and individuals. Bjartir dagar begin on June 1st when third graders sing in the summer.

The dynamic and flourishing art scene in Hafnarfjörður has been reflected in the event Gakktu í bæinn (Come In). That’s when artists, designers and craftsmen open their studios and welcome guests and pedestrians to visit.

First Day of Summer

The First Day of Summer starts with the Hafnarfjörður cross-country race, managed by the Athletics Department of FH. After the Scout mass in Víðistaða-church, a parade is held at Thorsplan in the centre of Hafnarfjörður, where the Scout Association Hraunbúar organises a diverse family programme.

Seamen’s Day

Seamen’s Day has been celebrated in Hafnarfjörður since 1953, as Hafnarfjörður’s history has close ties to fishing and fish processing. A varied programme and tribute to seamen takes place at Flensborg Harbour, and Hafnarfjörður’s Search and Rescue Team sets up various rescue toys on land and at sea.

Seaman’s Day is the first Sunday in June, unless Whitsun falls on that day, then it is the following Sunday. We encourage you to go down to the sea and enjoy what the harbour, after which the town is named, has to offer.

Cultural and health walks

During summer, there are ongoing cultural and health walks every Wednesday evening. Most walks take about an hour and start at 20:00 unless otherwise specified, participation is free of charge and everyone is welcome.

17th of June (Iceland’s Independence Day)

The Independence Day begins in Hafnarfjörður with a flag salute at Hamarinn. After the parade, which is led by the Hraunbúar Scout Association and the Hafnarfjörður marching band, Hafnarfjörður’s Lady of the Mountain delivers a speech at the launch of the Independence Day programme. This is followed by a varied festival and entertainment programme that stretches throughout the city centre, and no one should miss the Austurgata festival.

Viking festival on Víðistaðatún

The Viking Association Rimmugýgur organises an annual Viking Festival at Víðistaðatún. The festival is expected to be held on 14–18 June 2023. The festival features battle demonstrations, game shows, storytellers, archery, crafts, a market, a children’s Viking school and refreshments for sale. The Viking Festival has been held in Hafnarfjörður for almost three decades, but the first festival took place at Víðistaðatún in 1995.

Book and film festival

The children’s book and film festival, which is held in autumn in Hafnarfjörður, reminds us of the importance of reading and books and their connection to films. The town’s institutions organise events, and various projects are carried out in the town’s preschools and primary schools.

The Christmas Village

The Christmas Village is open every Saturday and Sunday during Advent from 13:00–18:00. The Village is bustling with life and excitement around Christmas. The small, beautifully decorated Christmas houses in the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjörður have become famous in Iceland for selling various types of gifts, handicrafts and designs that are ideal to include in your Christmas presents. You can also get delicious treats to eat on site and delicacies to take home for the holiday table. Why don’t you stop by the centre of Hafnarfjörður in December to enjoy the entertainment programme at Thorsplan and drop by at the small Christmas houses? Who knows, you might come across Grýla or the Julelads wandering around the town.