Faroese culture - get close to an unspoiled people
An unspoiled group of islands, isolated in the Atlantic. Hard rocks, green hills and plenty of fish, sheep and birds. Dark winter nights and endless summer days. The Faroese culture came from this. A culture characterized by being able to adapt to nature. Surviving from what is available and making the best of it when it is dark outside.
Faroese culture is a rich blend of a deep love of traditions and curiosity about the new. Consequently, the Faroese culture is also filled with contrasts between what’s new and what’s been passed down through the generations from parents to their children.
For the Faroese, music is an important part of being together. There is a strong tradition for playing music when they are having fun together. Compared to how many people live in the Faroe Islands (about 50,000), there is a great pursuit of music and musical events. In every village, no matter how small, you will find a choir, a band, a music group or an orchestra.
This is reflected in music festivals such as the G! Festival and the Summer festival. Also in the Hoyma festival, which is a very popular festival taking place regularly in February and March. The doors are opened to a private home, and an artist will be invited to play a very intimate concert for a small audience.
Some Faroese artists have attracted attention both in the Faroe Islands and internationally. Of these, the biggest musical export is the charming and melancholic Teitur. He sings in English and manages to convey a small part of the Faroese soul. In addition, people like Eivør, who reinterprets folk music, and names like Tyr and Orka who are successful also outside the Faroe Islands. Stanley Samuelson is very famous in the Faroe Islands, and has set famous Faroese poems to music. He has enriched Faroese culture for many years and still do.
Live music events in Tórshavn are especially taking place in the Nordic House, where there are traditional productions, classical music and more. Tórshavn has its own symphony orchestra, appearing in the capital and playing with international guests.
Fashion - Faroese knitwear and design
Faroese fashion is especially on the world map thanks to Sarah Lund of ‘The Killing’ wearing a sweater from the Faroese designer duo Guðrun & Guðrun. They focus on the traditional materials and patterns that the Faroese have worn on their sweaters for generations. They have a shop in Tórshavn, where you can see their classic sweaters and their more innovative collections.
Additionally, bARBARA in gONGINI is gaining ground and claiming their place on the international scene with their unique clothing.
You can experience Faroese fashion and design in the pedestrian zone in Tórshavn and in Østrøm, which is a shop by the harbor. Østrøm is a design shop with everything from dresses to butterflies. Emphasis is on aesthetic products, craftsmanship and innovation. There are earrings of fish skin, beautiful crafts and high quality designer clothes.
Gastronomy - get a taste for the Faroese nature
Trees do not grow in the Faroe Islands, and it is very hard to grow fruits, vegetables and grains because of the weather. Like everything else, the Faroese food tradition was created by the opportunities they have had over the years. This means that fish, whales, birds and sheep dominate the traditional Faroese dishes. And they have specialized in preserving the meat so they have been able to survive when there was not much to eat.
Today, ancient traditions are still maintained, but the Faroese import all conventional food from supermarkets in Denmark.
Gastronomically, the Faroe Islands are in no way stagnant. In Tórshavn, you have ample opportunity to taste ambitious Nordic cuisine at restaurants such as Barbara Fish house, KOKS and Aarstova.
Art & Traditions
Traditionally, crafts have been the stronger art in the Faroe Islands, but visual arts are coming along and you can experience this in the National Art Gallery.
‘St. Olavs dag’ is The Faroese National Day and is celebrated on 29 July. Comprising a number of traditional festivities, boat racing, music and national costumes, it is an experience that remains in a good place in your heart. Read about Olaifest here.