The first of 13 “Yule Lads” travelled across Iceland last night filling good children’s shoes with gifts.
Iceland is the honorary guest of the Christmas Market in Strasbourg, which is held for the 447th time
Costco representatives visited Iceland a few weeks ago to familiarize themselves with the Icelandic phenomenon known as “the Christmas book flood” (jólabókaflóðið).
There will be bonfires at three locations in the capital area on Friday, January 6, the thirteenth and last day of Christmas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All the Icelandic Christmas characters will be on display at Reykjavík Art Museum, both at the Hafnarhús and Kjarvalsstaðir locations, December 2-January 6.
Yesterday, on the first Sunday of Advent, the lights of the so-called Oslo Christmas tree were lit at Austurvöllur square in downtown Reykjavík.
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.
If you have been to Iceland around Christmas time, you must have noticed the traditional leaf bread that accompanies every Christmas meal.