As most people stay up late on New Year’s Eve in Iceland, people tend to sleep in on January 1. But in the evening it’s time to celebrate the first day of the New Year.
Icelanders celebrate the last day of the year with a fancy dinner, often turkey, and with fireworks at midnight. A special sketch comedy show about the year in review is shown on television and watched by almost the entire Icelandic nation.
Approximately 38 percent of Icelanders intended to send holiday cards to their friends and family members before Christmas this year, compared to almost 47 percent in 2015, as stated in a new MMR survey.
Aron was by far the most popular name for newborn boys in Iceland in 2016, for the sixth year in a row. Emilía defends the title as the most popular name for newborn girls, having jumped from ninth to first place in 2015.
Voter turnout in the parliamentary election in October was lowest among 20-24 year-olds, or 65.7 percent, and highest among voters aged 65-90 years, or 90.2 percent, as stated in an analysis by Statistics Iceland, published in late December.
Charles Gittins from the UK takes part in the Icelandic Red Cross’ program where volunteers visit members of the community who are at risk of social isolation. Charles has become a good friend to 103-year-old Ólöf Hjálmarsdóttir, to whom he reads out loud in Icelandic.
Historical novel Hundadagar (‘Dog Days’) by Icelandic author Einar Már Guðmundsson was named as one of the best foreign-language novels of the 21st century in China earlier this month. The award ceremony will take place in March 2017.
In almost 50 percent of Icelandic homes (46.4 percent to be exact), a smoked rack of pork was served for dinner on Christmas Eve. The tradition—which is fairly new and under Danish influence—remains popular, although the ratio has dropped from 49.8 percent from last year.
Icelandic gaming company Plain Vanilla, which shut down its operations in August, has sold its hit game QuizUp to US gaming company Glu Mobile for ISK 7.5 million (ISK 850 million, EUR 7.2 million). The game will henceforth be operated from San Francisco.