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Ólavsøka is the National holiday of the Faroe Islands. It is the day when the Faroese Parliament Løgting opens its session, July 29th.

The literal meaning is "St.Olaf's Wake" or vigilia sancti Olavi in Latin, from his death at Stiklestad in 1030, see Olsok. But the Løgting is certainly older than that. Like several other Faroese holidays, the vøka begins the evening before. So Ólavsøka always starts July 28.

Ólavsøka is the day of the year, when very many Faroese crowd in the capital Tórshavn. The National rowing competitions have their final run there, which is one of the highlights in Faroese sports. In addition, there are art exhibitions and folk music everywhere, performing the Faroese chaindance .

The salute for Ólavøka in Faroese is Góða Ólavsøku!

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Last updated: 05-08-2005 05:01:46