Scandinavia is a gorgeous region and the perfect vacation spot whether you are looking to do some historical and cultural exploration, outside activities, or even simply to have some fun! For that, we suggest looking up some of the very best festivals and celebrations, and since there are so many to choose from, we are here to give you a hand! 

So, pretend for some cultural appreciation, friendly people, and a great sense of community with our top 5 Scandinavian festivals that absolutely every traveler should attend! 

  1. Gladmat Food Festival, Norway

Established in the late 20th century, the annual Gladmat Food Festival is regarded as one of the leading gastronomy celebrations in all of Scandinavia, and we encourage you to visit! The festival takes place in mid-July in Stavanger, a city which you can easily reach with the help of trains in Norway

Literally translating into happy food, Gladmat is a combination of traditional Norwegian cuisine, communication, entertainment, and even competition! Here you will get to meet the top chefs of the country, as well as beginners, fans, and other foodies. The celebration is being held for four days, and in that time, you will eat food, cook food, and learn a lot! 

Indulge in culinary classes, eating competitions, special showcases, and picnics. This is definitely the one to visit! 

  1. Midsummer’s Day, Sweden

Basically, all tours of Sweden include trips to Stockholm, and if you happen to be there on the first Friday after the summer solstice, you are in for the biggest celebration of the year – Midsummer’s Day! 

If you are not the one to visit one museum after the other, and sightseeing, in general, is a bit much for you, this festival might just be the best way for you to get into the roots of authentic Swedish traditions.

The day starts with a big meal of authentic, fresh ingredients to give you the taste of the Swedish summer! This includes baked potatoes, pickled herring, strawberries, and several traditional beverages. After the celebratory meal, the attendees start singing drinking songs and performing folk music. 

Though Midsummer’s Day’s highlight comes when the sun finally sets, and the Swedes start dancing and jumping around a special Midsummer’s pole, as well as other traditional rituals. However, all is in good fun, and it would be a shame to miss it if you could attend! 

  1. Viking Festival, Denmark

Naturally, our list cannot forgo some sort of celebration to commemorate the Vikings! Being an inseparable part of the Scandinavian culture and history, the brave Norsemen are celebrated and remembered during the Viking festival in Aarhus on the last weekend of July. 

This annual honoring brings in people and Viking fans from all over the world, so you already know it will be impressive! Not only will you get to see some of the most striking costumes, Viking ship remodels, and weapons, but you can also indulge in multiple activities! 

However, the most essential part of the celebration is the reenactors – a highly talented group of Scandinavian representatives that get you the closest you can get to an authentic Viking everyday life. We are talking warriors, merchants, and horseback riders. You will also get to hear and learn plenty of sea shanties! 


  1. Seinajoki Tango Festival, Finland

While the first three were solely about the Scandinavian heritage and roots, if you go to the city of Seinajoki, Finland, in early July, there is a chance for you to get into the groove with the local people. Now, let us explain!

Seinajoki Tango Festival is an annual celebration held to learn about the art of dancing, to have fun, and to see some of the best Tango performers in Scandinavia! 

The festival draws over 30 thousand people every year and if you are one of them, prepare your dancing shoes because there will be open classes, beginner contests, concerts, and shows. So let’s get spicy and dancy for one weekend! 

  1. Independence Day, Iceland

Finally, let’s see what the great state of Iceland is so happy to celebrate and how they do it! 

Since 1944, every 17th of July, Icelanders get together for the biggest celebration of the year, and you bet that every single person attends, whether the actual festivities or simply by watching TV. However, if possible, we highly suggest you see the shows firsthand; it is a sight to behold! 

Reykjavik’s streets are filled with cheerful Icelanders, performers, cooks, and tourists! There are open theaters, music concerts, traditional Iceland street food, parades, and dancing. There are no special preparations for you to do, but get ready to spend a whole day on your feet – the time will pass quickly, but there is too much stuff to enjoy! It is also a great way to congratulate Iceland on gaining its independence and show respect.

Five beautiful countries and five top-notch festivals! While it is unlikely to visit them all on one trip, pick something you can surely attend and see how much better you will know the country before you leave. Not to mention all the fun and entertainment you will get out of it. So, good luck and have the best time! 


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