News Jan 14, 2013

Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival

The Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival is a free four-day event dedicated to celebrating the Nordic winter world and welcoming the growing light after a long period of darkness. This year’s program is a mixture of events celebrating arts and crafts, environment, history, sports and culture, providing entertainment for Reykjavik’s locals and guests alike.

The Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival is an event to be enjoyed by all – therefore all events are free of charge. All the major institutions of culture and education participate in the festival along with churches, sports clubs, galleries, artists, shops, restaurants and many more that will join in the fun.

This year’s Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival is scheduled to take place from Thursday, February 7th to Sunday, February 10th. Read on for a breakdown of the events!


Thursday, February 7th

On the Festival’s opening night, the fun begins at 8 pm with a spectacular outdoor event for the whole family in the town’s most beautiful square, Austurvöllur. The streetlights will be dimmed, and a multicoloured light installation will light up the square with live music, bringing a warm festival atmosphere to Iceland’s cold surroundings.  Afterwards, a number of smaller musical events will take place in churches, art galleries and cafés in the city centre.

Friday, February 8th  

Museums Night will be held in Reykjavík on Friday evening, as the capital area’s numerous museums entertain guests with unusual and fascinating events, including fashion shows, dance, theatre, lectures, live music, film and numerous participatory workshops. The museums open their doors to guests at 7pm and will stay open until midnight. Special Museums Night buses will transport guests between museums, free of charge.

Saturday, February 9th

International Children’s Day takes place in Gerðurberg Culture Center on Saturday, where children can participate in various workshops connected to different countries and cultures. In the evening, swimming pools in Reykjavík and the artificial thermal beach Nauthólsvík will open their doors to visitors. Swimming Pool Night lasts from 7 pm until midnight, and visitors will be entertained by spectacular events including a quire festival, water yoga, light installations, live music, photo exhibitions and poetry reading. All pools in Reykjavík are heated with thermal water, giving visitors the unique opportunity to swim comfortably outdoors during the height of winter.

Sunday, February 10th

The celebration of Kærleikar, or the “Love Games,” takes place at Austurvöllur Square in central Reykjavík on Sunday evening. Beginning 7 pm, various artists and groups will perform to encourage a feeling of companionship, show support for one another, and emit a positive vibe. Everyone is encouraged to wear something red.

Photo Credit: Roman Gerasymenko