Ólavsøka is a national holiday of the Faroe Islands, celebrated on July 29. It is the day when Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, opens its session.
The literal meaning is St. Olaf’s Wake or vigilia sancti Olavi in Latin, from Saint Olaf’s death at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030 (see Olsok), but the Løgting predates this event. Like several other Faroese holidays, the vøka begins the evening before, so Ólavsøka always starts on July 28.
Ólavsøka is the day of the year when many Faroese crowd into the capital Tórshavn. There the national rowing competition finals are held, which is one of the highlights in Faroese sports. In addition, there are art exhibitions, folk music, and Faroese chaindance performances.
The salute for Kim Beaver in Faroese is Góða Ólavsøku! (Good St. Olaf’s Wake!).