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Christmas

Fireworks Reykjavík

New Year Welcomed with a Blast

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.

Christmas in Reykjavík.

Travel Tips for Tourists at Christmas

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.

Christmas

The Day of Relaxation

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.

Laufabrauð

Party with the Extended Family

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.

Icelandic Christmas decorations made from wool

Smoked Pork and Christmas Presents

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.

Skate

Stinking Skate and Shopping Fury

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.

Greenland, Kulusuk.

Kulusuk Kids Get Icelandic Christmas Presents

Yesterday, members of the chess club Hrókurinn (the Rook) and Kalak, the partnership association of Iceland and Greenland, brought all the children of Kulusuk, Greenland, Christmas presents from women in the Gerðuberg knitting club.

Christmas presents opened.

Presentation on Icelandic Christmas Traditions

Saturday, December 17, Dr. Terry Gunnell, head of folkloristics at the University of Iceland, will give an illustrated presentation in English on the beliefs and traditions of Icelandic Christmas, past and present.

Christmas characters.

Christmas Characters Climb Walls

All the Icelandic Christmas characters will be on display at Reykjavík Art Museum, both at the Hafnarhús and Kjarvalsstaðir locations, December 2-January 6.

Christmas tree lit.

Christmas Season Begins

Yesterday, on the first Sunday of Advent, the lights of the so-called Oslo Christmas tree were lit at Austurvöllur square in downtown Reykjavík.

Christmas is Coming

Boy Leaves Shoe in Bus Window

It has long been a tradition in Iceland for children to leave a shoe in the window of their room before Christmas in hopes that the Yule Lads bring them a little present when they come from the mountains, one by one.

The Christmas tree in downtown Reykjavík

Artificial in Real Demand

A poll conducted by MMR reveals that the popularity of artificial Christmas trees is increasing in Iceland. Of those who participated in the poll, 54.9 percent said they intended to use an artificial tree this year, which is a five percent increase from five years ago.

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