If Icelanders know how to do one thing well, it’s celebrate, especially if said celebration involves gathering friends and family together, dressing up and eating good food. Preferably, all three. I woke up today to discover that today the good people of Selfoss were celebrating Sumar á Selfossi. Given the amount of time the good people of Selfoss (had obviously) spent preparing for this special celebration, one could be forgiven for inquiring how I didn’t know about it earlier. I put it down to a post-PhD viva/corrections fog. Anyhoo, the first I knew that today would be no ordinary day, was when Chris woke me from my slumber with the happy announcement that breakfast was on the town. Literally. Each year, businesses and other kindhearted folk club together and provide a free breakfast for the hungry citizens of Selfoss, all 5,000 of them!
So, we gathered, in the rain (well, it is summer after all), everyone in good spirits, and waited patiently for breakfast to be served. We weren’t disappointed. Breakfast included, sliced meats and cheese, fresh bread buns, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, meat and cheese spreads, fresh fruit, yoghurt and yoghurt drinks, cartons of fresh milk and chocolate milk, and coffee and kleinur (Icelandic doughnuts). A veritable feast. We had photos, but they didn’t turn out ;( But, you can take our word for it, the food was great.
Alongside the food there was live music and a play. Yes, at 9.00 in the morning we were treated to an enthusiastic performance that included lots of running around and silly voices. They were rather good, I must say. Afterwards, everyone involved in the production were individually thanked and presented with flowers. A nice touch I thought.
In addition to the early morning breakfast, there was also a decent sized fair and a competition to see who had the best dressed street. To make sure every street is in with a chance, the town is divided in five zones. Each zone is allocated a colour, i.e. red, orange, blue, green or red. Each zone is tasked with decorating their area in their colour. It wasn’t just the individual streets that were colour-coordinated though, children, animals and houses were also given a colour-coordinated make-over. We spent the afternoon, driving around the town (along with a lot of other people) admiring everyone’s handiwork. Most streets will be finishing the day with a BBQ. But, because we live on the main street – mostly businesses, few houses – we didn’t have a BBQ to go to…sad, I know. Gleðilegt sumar gott fólk af Selfossi 😉