Women’s day – Konudagur – in Iceland is not a recent invention, both it and it’s counterpart Man’s Day or Farmer’s Day have been celebrated here for a very long time.
Konudagur is celebrated on the first day of the month of Góa, a month in the traditional Icelandic calendar. Góa is the second to last of the winter months, the days are starting to be visibly longer, summer is coming! Incidently, Man’s Day is the first day of the preceeding month, Thorri, and Icelanders have a lot of feasting around that time, including some questionable delicacies like rams testicals and sheeps face! Learn about Thorrablot here.
The word ‘Konudager’ was first used in the 1800s however the tradition dates much much further than that, right back to the ancient Nordic calendar. Nowadays it feels like Mother’s day or Valentines day, with people taking time to appreciate the women in their lives. Often they will be brought flowers, cooked dinner, and generally pampered.
We thoroughly encourage all of these things however also be sure to take time and appreciate the long day light hours, and hopefully the mild weather!
Konudager is the official day – but Iceland really appreciates women all year round.
Iceland is consistently voted as one of the best places in the world for gender equality, but as recently as the 1970s this wasn’t the case. On October 24, 1975, 90% of the Iceland’s women stopped work, domestic duties and looking after the children. This effectively brought the country to a standstill. 10% of the countries population came to Reykjavik centre to protest, and they were incredibly successful. Five years later Iceland had the world’s first democratically elected female president.
So hopefully people all over the world will appreciate Icelandic women on Konudager, showing the world how things are done!