Looking for something different to do this Christmas? We’ve got an idea you’re going to love! Why not come to Tórshavn this December and experience Christmas like it used to be? No commercialism, no cheesy decorations and we absolutely promise not to play Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade!
Christmas is a great time to be in Tórshavn – we dress the town in thousands of white lights and we light candles in our windows. It’s our way of creating that special Christmas atmosphere that makes the Faroese capital an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of December on the average High Street. Here, there’s plenty of room for everyone and the shops are generally open to 8pm which means it’s easy to find that special present – at tax free prices, of course, because the Faroes are not part of the European Union. Perfect!
The fun begins on the last Saturday in November when we turn on the Christmas lights across town and light up the tree in the main square, Vaglið. Hundreds of people turn out to watch the spectacle and listen to the traditional music. There‘s entertainment, too, for the kids who know that pretty soon Santa’s going to put in an appearance. Forget reindeer and sleighs, in Tórshavn he arrives on a shiny red, vintage fire engine. Up he goes on a fireman’s ladder and, once the crowd have shouted the magic word, Santa flicks the switch and the tree and the town are lit up!
With live music, a Christmas market overflowing with all manner of quality handicrafts and even an ice skating rink, we think we’ve got it right in Tórshavn. Here, we like to celebrate Christmas how it should be celebrated: among friends, among children and in the open air around the tree singing Christmas carols. Oh, and don’t forget the stalls selling warming Christmas snacks and drinks! We also have a Christmas village, full of mystery Christmas presents, which never fails to excite our very youngest visitors.
But it doesn’t stop there! On the following Saturday, there are special events for the children of Tórshavn, including singing, dancing, street theatre – and, naturally, making sweets! Dozens of children also dress up as Santa and give away sweets to shoppers in town. Plus, there are choirs in the town centre to add to the authentic Christmas atmosphere.
Then, the next Saturday, Tórshavn welcomes a special Christmas ship, which sails into the harbour at Vágsbotn. Crowds of excited children are on the quayside to greet the dozen Santas who jump ashore with bags of sweets. It's really quite a spectacle as the graceful wooden ship, one of our 100 year old schooners, glides into port, bedecked with lights and flags, to a musical fanfare!
Finally, of course, it’s Christmas week itself – a great time to be in Tórshavn. Wander through town and peruse the Christmas market for any last-minute presents whilst listening to choirs singing Christmas carols; or pop into the church which is open every day this week; or why not check out the live performances by the talented students from the local music school. This is what Christmas should be like: unhurried, uncommercialised, unbeatable. When are you coming?