The strange custom of rolling around naked at midnight in Iceland
The Vikings of olde were a strange bunch. When home between violent excursions where they thought little of killing men and kidnapping women they looked inward like the finest Greek philosophers.
One of the customs those ancient Vikings held in high regard and has lived on in Iceland, is the custom of going outside at midnight on Midsummer night and roll around naked in the nearest field or clearing.
This sounds peculiar indeed but back in the day people believed that by doing this and then let the dew evaporate off the body would stave off or alleviate any illness for a whole year. This being a time of no medicines or doctors it probably would sound no less sensible than something else. After all, how much closer can one get to nature than lying still under the Midnight sun naked. Almost being one with nature.
Truth be told the custom is not really practiced here much anymore. Nor elsewhere where this was also a custom centuries ago.
Doing this is not as easy as one might think. Keep in mind even the hottest summer nights in Iceland are not „hot“ in any sense of the word. Even in July temperature overnight can drop close to zero Celsius although five to ten degrees is more common. It was thus also a mark of braveness. Shyness was never an issue as Vikings slept naked and nudity not frowned upon according to studies.
Team Total Iceland can attest to this being a very liberating experience if a bit cold. We implore you to try for yourself at midnight of the 24th of June. Just find a secluded spot as modern peoples think nudity is the most horrible thing. Bring blankets.