Iceland’s capital has seen extensive snowfall this December, which has resulted in significant expenses for clearing snow and salting roads, estimated at ISK 150 million (USD 1.2 million, EUR 1.0 million) in December, totaling at ISK 500 million this year.
Not since 2008 has a larger group of people accepted donations from the National Church of Iceland than before Christmas this year, according to Rev. Guðrún Karls- og Helgudóttir in Grafarvogur, Reykjavík.
The University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences will not send scientists to the eruption site at Holuhraun until January and the Icelandic Met Office’s scientists have not been able to get to the site recently because of impassable roads. The same applies to media personnel.
Only 32 percent of Icelanders were planning to buy real Christmas trees this year, down from 56 percent in 2012, according to a new survey by MMR. Artificial trees are gaining popularity with 56 percent of respondents preferring them over real trees this year.
Tonight is Christmas Eve. Christmas in Iceland officially begins when the bells of the Reykjavík Cathedral chime at 6 pm. By then families have gathered around the dinner table and afterwards they open presents and Christmas cards.
Almost 300 Norwegians have in the past days offered donations to Hagbarður Valsson, a single father of four originally from Iceland. Hagbarður’s fiancé Guðrún Guðmunda Sigurðardóttir died suddenly last year when she was seven months pregnant.
Twenty containers, which were being transported by Eimskip vessel Dettifoss en route to Iceland, fell into the ocean 85 nautical miles northwest of the Faroe Islands last night when the ship was hit by rogue waves.
Today is the last day before Christmas, known as Þorláksmessa (‘The Mass of St. Þorlákur,’ Iceland’s patron saint). The day is celebrated by eating skata, putrefied (or fermented) skate and buying the last Christmas presents.