Icelandic model shares Summer Solstice traditions

Icelandic model Edda Peturdottir is looking forward to celebrating the Summer Solstice with a barbecue at her home in Brooklyn. Credit: Edda Peturdottir
Icelandic model Edda Peturdottir is looking forward to celebrating the summer solstice with a barbecue at her home in Brooklyn.
Credit: Edda Peturdottir

Saturday’s summer solstice, the longest day of the year, will bring roughly 15 hours of sunlight to the city. That may not seem like an event worth celebrating to New Yorkers, but Iceland expats have a different perspective. Their native country is so far north that the sun won’t set for a full 24 hours, and accordingly Icelanders have established many traditions to revel in the night’s light. Among those who brought these traditions with them to the Big Apple is Brooklyn-based Icelandic model, DJ and fashionista Edda Peturdottir.

In Iceland, “Since the sun never sets, the bars typically stay open all night and we’ve got bonfires that burn for hours,” Peturdottir says. “The next day, the celebrations continue, and I’ve heard that one of the traditions is people rolling naked in the morning dew, which I have yet to try but it is on my bucket list.”

Now that she’s in the United States, the solstice takes on a different meaning; for the model, the day is all about celebrating Iceland. “I always try and bring together my Icelandic friends with my U.S. friends so that everyone can understand what makes Iceland so special,” Peturdottir says. “We eat traditionally Icelandic food, listen to Icelandic music, and we’re fueled by Reyka vodka. Reyka is the first vodka from Iceland, and I love that it’s made from real glacial water and filtered through Icelandic volcano rocks. I almost taste Iceland in the vodka itself. It’s important to me to bring these traditions and touches of home to my community in Brooklyn.”

New York has cultivated its own assortment of traditions to salute the summer season, from yoga in the middle of Times Square to picnics and midsummer pole decorating in Battery Park. For the partiers out there, Peturdottir recommends stopping by the Williamsburg bar Night of Joy: “They’re gonna have a big party with live music and they have a great outdoor space,” she says.

As for what she’s doing this year, Peturdottir plans on hosting her own get-together. “I always throw a big barbecue at my house in Brooklyn, and that’s what I’ll be doing this year.”

Want to celebrate solstice like you’re Icelandic? Click here to see what’s going on in New York.


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