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.
At this time of year, most Icelanders are busy enjoying the holidays with their friends and families, inviting each other to dinner and snuggling up with a blanket on the couch, watching a Christmas classic. Meanwhile, tourists wander the empty streets looking for things to do.
Today is Annar í jólum, or the ‘Second Day of Christmas.’ in Iceland After eating to excess on December 24 and 25, many families have leftovers for lunch, enjoy their gifts and relax on December 26.
Christmas Day in Iceland is usually celebrated with a luncheon with the extended family. The traditional meal is hangikjöt (smoked lamb) with laufabraud (‘leaf bread’) and a sweet béchamel sauce.
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.