Celebrating the Return of the Sun in Iceland

In Iceland, people are beginning to celebrate Sólardagur by enjoying sólarkaffi. That takes a bit of explanation. Iceland is below the Arctic Circle, but it is close and quite mountainous. In some valley communities, the sun does not shine for a month or so on either side of the winter solstice. Sólardagur translates to Sun Day, the day when the light comes back, even for just a few minutes. That calls for a celebration which involves sólarpönnukökur (sun pancakes) and sólarkaffi (sun coffee). Some villages, schools, and and workplaces have community breakfasts to celebrate, and children sing songs welcoming the sun.

In those villages affected by midwinter darkness, the coffee and pancake tradition goes way back. But due to people moving into the city, meaning Reykjavík, they spread the traditions of Sólardagur to all of Iceland. Read about the return of the sun to Iceland and the celebrations that accompany it at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Greg Neate)


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Here in Sweden the days are once again lengthening. This week it's no longer dark bringing the kids home from after-school. Within a week or two I expect it will no longer be dark taking them to school. In about a month, it will be light again for breakfast. Break out the sólarpönnukökur!
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