The Gathering (Réttir) -

wild icelandic sheep Gathering

In Autumn farmers head out to gather their flocks that have been grazing in the wild mountain pastures of summer. This event is called Réttir or the Gathering. Most people use the traditional method of horseback riding to round up the sheep along with the enthusiastic help of their well trained sheepdogs.

wild icelandic sheep dog Gathering

The process can take up to a week. During this time, participants stay overnight in mountain huts located throughout the highlands. Each sheep farmer has his own earmark in order to identify his livestock.

wild icelandic Lamb gathering 04After the gathering, the sheep are all sorted into designated pens, according to earmarks. Many people, farmers or not, come to watch or take part in this event on the last day, which is usually followed by a big celebration the same night. This is a tradition cherished by Icelanders.