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Culture

This week's date: July 29

The Norwegian King Olaf the Holy fell at the Battle of Stiklested on this date in 1030


Not everyone was in for a shot at winning the rowing title! (Photo: Ólavur Fredriksen)

July 29, 2014
07:00

by Jessica Wells


Today the Faroese celebrate a national festival called Ólavsøka (Saint Olaf’s Wake).

It is the biggest summer festival in the Faroe Islands and thousands of people flock to Tórshavn to celebrate their national day.

The festival, which began yesterday with a procession through the town, is full of sports events, meetings, concerts and exhibitions which are run with timely precision.

A particular highlight of the festival is the national rowing competitions that take place in traditional wooden rowing boats. 

Participants have the opportunity compete both in the Ólavsøka Boat race and in the Faroese Champions race and the races often have the same winners.  

Today, a procession from parliament to the cathedral for a service will take place. After the service, the government returns to parliament where the Prime Minister will give his opening speech – thus beginning the new parliamentary year.

To end the festivities, the entire community will sing in unison in the centre of Tórshavn at the stroke of midnight tonight.

Choir singing marks the end of the festival and many locals will be seen partying through the night. 




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