Days of Darkness

27. October, 2021 - 31. October, 2021

The Days of Darkness is a town festival held mutually by all inhabitants in East Iceland with the goal of emphasizing local togetherness. The festival has a strong connection to Icelandic and Celtic rituals from earlier times. The festival is primarily planned with local participation in mind, but everyone is most welcome to join in the festivities. This year, the festival will be held from October28th until November 1st all over the region.

The festival is held annually over the last weekend in October or first weekend in November. It begins on Wednesday afternoon and ends on Sunday afternoon. These dates are chosen with the traditional Celtic harvest festival in mind, held annually on October 31st, akin to the Day of the Dead. Similar festivities were held in Iceland before Christianity, called the Winter Nights. Ethnologist Terry Gunnell has pointed out that this type of harvest festival is actually of Icelandic origin. The Celtic festival was later transported to America with the Celts and today it is widely known as Halloween. In East Iceland, these ancient rituals of Halloween or the Winter Festival are combined in the town festival Days of Darkness.

The Days of Darkness festival obviously has a strong connection to the darkness, but also supernatural beings, romance, and the ways of old from our Celtic background and traditional Icelandic customs before Christianity. Local participation is essential, both in attending events but also in creating events connected to the darkness. Events will be advertised in East Iceland’s TV Guide (Dagskráin), the municipalities’ websites, on Facebook and Instagram.

As part of the Days of Darkness, a photo competition will be held with the theme “The Darkness.” Submissions should be sent to [email protected]. Participants can submit entries until 23:59 GMT on November 12nd, 2021. 1st price is 50,000 ISK. Submitting an entry automatically grants Austurbrú the right to use the photograph to promote the festival.

This year we are going to invite residents to submit a picture of windows they decorate at home and/or at work.  The best-decorated window will be selected, and the prize includes local gift certificates.   Please send photos to the email address [email protected], and the last due date is November 2nd.

If you have any questions or want to create your own event as part of the Days of Darkness, please contact Halldóra Dröfn, project manager at Austurbrú, [email protected] or via phones: 470-3871 // 899-6913.