On the first day of the Icelandic Month of Góa is Konudagur – Women’s day. Don’t worry if you are visiting, for the last 300 years we have been using the Gregorian calendar, but many festivals associated with the ancient one remain.
The preceding month to Góa is Þorri, and on the first day of that, we celebrate Man’s day or Farmer’s day. During it, we also have Thorrablot, when we get together and eat a lot….some of which you are sure to love…and some of which you might raise an eyebrow to…sheep’s face and testicles anyone?
The Icelandic months are named after people. Þorri, often written Thorri in English, is the personification of frost and winter, and Góa is his daughter, whose name possibly comes from the old Norse word for ‘snowflake.’ Her month is the second to last of the winter months, the days are obviously longer, and the weather is milder.
The word ‘Konudagur’ was first used in the 1800s, and nowadays it is celebrated in a similar way to Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, with people taking time to appreciate the women in their lives. Often they will be brought flowers, cooked dinner, and generally pampered.
Konudagur is really every day in Iceland – the best country in the world for equality.
For over a decade Iceland has been voted as one of the most equal socialities, but it wasn’t always the case. To counter this on October 24, 1975, 90% of Iceland’s women stopped work, domestic duties and looking after the children. The country was brought to a standstill and 10% of the entire country’s population came to Reykjavik centre to protest. They were incredibly successful. Five years later Iceland had the world’s first democratically elected female president.