Today is the second day of the five-day Easter weekend in Iceland. It is also the saddest day of the year for Christians.
According to the Bible, Good Friday, called Föstudagurinn langi (Long Friday) in Icelandic, is when Jesus was hung from the cross and died for all our sins.
“Talk less, pray more. Good Friday is the gate that we pass through in order to celebrate Easter in the glory of the resurrection of the Lord,” as phrased in old church books.
To this day, when relatively few people go to church, fun is still discouraged by law on Good Friday. As a result, bars are closed until midnight, when many will open and become very busy very quickly. Things are changing, however, and visitors should not have much difficulty finding places open for food today—unlike a decade or two ago.
Easter weekend has become a traveling and party weekend overall, and everything from ski slopes to bowling alleys and swimming pools can expect a busy day.