Imagine Peace (Hugsa sér frið in Icelandic) is a tower of light, a beacon of peace, that rises out of the Reykjavik bay. Inaugurated in 2007, the tower’s base is located on the small island of Viðey. The words “imagine peace” are carved into the base in 24 different languages, sharing its message with people from around the globe. Commissioned by Yoko Ono, the tower serves as a memorial to John Lennon’s original dream of a raising a lighthouse in his back garden as a symbol of peace. As Ono put it during the inauguration in 2007, “maybe Iceland is his garden.”
Yoko Ono claims that wisdom is something that spreads from the North to the South. This makes Iceland an ideal place for the entire world to have the tower as its virtue will spread southward to the rest of the planet. Ono also speaks highly of the cleanliness and purity of Icelandic nature as another reason the country was chosen to host the Imagine Peace Tower, supporting the metaphor of light cleansing the entire world. This is also reflected in the fact that Iceland is almost entirely powered by geothermal energy, including the Imagine Peace Tower. Standing 4000 meters tall, the tower is made up of prismatically reflected light, which can be seen from all over entire capital area. The tower’s base takes the form of an oversized wishing well, and buried underneath the base are over 1 million handwritten wishes that Ono has gathered over the years.
The tower is lit each year from October 9, Lennon’s birthday, to December 8, the day of his death. It’s also lit on February 18, Yoko Ono’s birthday, March 20-27, to celebrate their wedding and the arrival of the spring, and December 21-31, to mark the winter solstice through New Year’s Eve.
Iceland’s unique location—between Europe and North America, yet having no immediate neighbors—has lent Iceland its reputation for neutrality, a nation that is both independent and open to other cultures. Due to a high level of trust among its residents, interconnectivity and openness to diversity, Iceland has developed into an incredibly safe country with high regard for world peace. It is so peaceful, in fact, that for the ninth consecutive year it has been named the most peaceful country in the world by the Global Peace Index. With such a small population, the people of Iceland get to know one another quite well and are therefore more inclined to respect the diversity around them—in other words, peace and harmony is at the very heart of what it means to Live Icelandic! #iceland #icelandic #liveicelandic #icelandicseafood