Dark Days (ZR)

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zoe_robert_dlNestled in the long and deep fjord by the same name—a dramatic setting beneath the 1,000 plus meter high mountains—Seyðisfjörður lives up to its reputation as one of Iceland’s most picturesque towns.

Minus two degrees and calm, the overnight snow accentuates the town’s beauty.   

This week, Seyðisfjörður, as other towns in East Iceland, celebrates the annual cultural festival Dagar Myrkurs (‘Days of Darkness’). It’s a time for the community to embrace the increasingly long winter nights as the sun disappears behind the mountains, reappearing in mid-February.

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On Friday, all lights in the town will be turned off for the torch parade, which winds its way around town. Other events at this year’s festival are varied and include a bread-baking class, artists opening their workshops to the public and on Saturday, the grand finale: the northern lights party.

The evening begins with separate events for men and women; the women start at the hot tubs at the local swimming pool and the men at the sports club, later meeting up at Hotel Aldan.

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Outside the weeklong festival, locals spend the dark nights indoors, chatting with neighbors over coffee or dinner.

And just as the long winter days are embraced, the return of the sun to the deep fjord on February 20 is greeted with sólarkaffi, when family and friends get together for coffee and pancakes with cream, jam and sugar. From then on, the days get longer until mid-summer, and the fjord is illuminated in the midnight sun. 

Text & Photos: Zoë Robert – zoe@icelandreview.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.