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O-lay! er, Olai?

St Olav's DayLooking for something exciting to do tonight?  The Faroe Islands of Denmark celebrate a festival called the Olai Festival every year on July 28-29th.  This festival begins on the eve of Saint Olav’s Day, and continues on through St. Olav’s Day itself.   Work stops, and people  head to Torshavn (the island where this takes place) to celebrate.

The festival attracts about 50,000 people and is rung in with processions, sporting events, meetings, and concerts.  It then moves into the next day with a governmental procession, at which time the actual governmental year begins.  They close the ceremonies at midnight with community singing.  People come dressed in their best, and they dance throughout the streets and towns.

From the end of May all the way until the end of July, there are festivals like this throughout the islands.  These festivals all have religious roots, and it is the festive nature of the people that makes them truly fantastic events.

Have you been to any great festivals overseas?

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Mango Languages

Mango Languages

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