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Icelandic Culture
14 February 2023

Women's day in Iceland - Followed by Bun Day Monday

It is tradition to give flowers to women on Women´s day in Iceland.
It is tradition for men to bring flowers on Women´s day in Iceland.

Women's day is the most romantic day of the year in Iceland and is celebrated on the third Sunday of February. Women's day is a huge part of Icelandic culture and tradition and it is safe to say that love is in the air on that day in Iceland.

Not only is Women's day the most important day of the calendar for  every husband in Iceland, it is also the start of the old Icelandic month Góa. Meaning Midwinter is over and spring is coming soon. 

Celebrate Women's Day in Iceland 

On Women's day is it traditional for men in Iceland to give women flowers as well as giving gifts and other treats. 

Women's day is kinda the Icelandic version of Valentine’s Day, which is not generally celebrated in Iceland. As it is custom for men to pamper their women throughout this day. 

Women's day marks the end of Þorri, an old Icelandic month in Midwinter where the weather is at its worst and celebrated throughout Iceland with festivals called Þorrablót. Therefore Women's day marks the end of the darkest winter and the beginning of better things to come in Iceland. 

Romantic holiday in Iceland

If you´re looking for the perfect romantic holiday, we highly recommend traveling to Iceland, especially around Women´s day!

Iceland is one of the most romantic places in the world. Winter is also a great time to visit Iceland and experience all the best Iceland has to offer in nature and culture.


For example going to a hot spring pool, followed by a night underneath the beautiful Northern lights. Add fine dining in Reykjavik and you got the most amazing and romantic date of your life guaranteed! 

Cream filled Icelandic bolla bun
The traditional "Bolla" bun is served with whipped cream and jam filling and topped with chocolate.

Most unusual three day celebration 

After Women's day starts a rather unusual three-day celebration in Iceland.

These other interesting and culturally unique days are called Bun Day Monday, Burst Day Tuesday and Ash Day Wednesday. They are celebrated 7 weeks before Easter so they don't always follow Women's day. 

Interestingly enough there is no name for the bundle although they are always celebrated each year in the same order.These days have a Christian origin although there is no religious connection to them in Iceland other than the dates follow Easter. 

Bun Day - Monday

The first day is called Bun Day (is. Bolludagur) and on that day Icelanders enjoy eating cream filled buns. This is by far the busiest day of the year for bakers in Iceland. The buns are topped with various toppings, but the traditional bun is served with whipped cream and jam filling and topped with chocolate.

On Bun Day Monday it is tradition for children to make special Bun Day wands which they use to wake up and spank their parents. The goal is to shout “Bolla, Bolla, Bolla!” and for each hit they get they get a bun (is. Bolla). 

Burst Day - Tuesday

The second day is called Burst Day (is. Sprengjudagur) and is the Icelandic version of Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. On that day it is tradition in Iceland to eat a dish of salty lamb and bean soup. 


The idea behind this tradition is to eat so much salty lamb and bean soup until you feel like you´re going to burst.

Salty lamb and bean soup is the dish served on burst day in Iceland.
Salty lamb and bean soup until you burst!

Ash Day - Wednesday 

The third and last day of this series is Ash Day. On this Wednesday children in Iceland dress up in costumes and collect candy. Much like on Halloween. 

The difference between Ash Wednesday and Halloween is however that the goal is not to scare anyone. And kids do not go from house to house. Instead, children go to stores and other local companies and sing. In return they get candy.

Like Bun Day and Burst Day, Ash Day is an old Icelandic tradition which started somewhere in the late 19th century. Brought from Denmark, when Iceland was still part of the Danish Kingdom.

Back then children would wear some costumes, but they did not sing for candy. The original tradition was to take small bags, or pouches, fill them with coal soot and hang on friends.

Soot was later replaced by candy and the bags used for collecting it. Instead of hanging it on other people, store owners offered children to sing for the treats.

Kids singing in stores for candy.

Children of Iceland sing to local business owners and get candy on Ash Wednesday.

A Winter holiday in Iceland

This is a great time of the year to visit Iceland and enjoy the best in Icelandic pastry, local food and fun cultural events.

All these days are celebrated throughout Iceland, so no matter where you are in Iceland, you can experience these special and unique holidays with us.

Just make sure to be prepared for winter conditions when traveling to Iceland in February. Most importantly, bring winter clothes and above all get a good rental car. 

A 4x4/AWD will be ideal for your winter adventure in Iceland, as there will be snow and ice on the roads. Therefore, we recommend an SUV such as the Suzuki Vitara or larger vehicles like the powerful Toyota Land Cruiser. 

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