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Traditions

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday in Pictures

Our photographer Páll Stefánsson went downtown and brought back a series of photos of children dressed up for Ash Wednesday.

New Year's Eve in Reykjavík

Icelanders Bid Farewell to Christmas

January 6 is known as Þrettándinn or ‘the Thirteenth’ in Iceland. According to the Icelandic calendar, it marks the 13th and last day of Christmas—the first being Christmas Day—and also the day when the last of the 13 Yule Lad brothers, who come down from the mountains 13 days before Christmas,...

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.

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.

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.

Presidential inauguration

First Lady Wears Historical Costume

First Lady Eliza Reid wore an impressive Icelandic national costume (skautbúningur) at the presidential inauguration in Alþingishús, the Icelandic parliamentary building, yesterday.

Ash Wednesday 2015.

Candy Older than Kids

When the children in Seyðisfjörður brought their candy home on Ash Wednesday, what awaited them were no sweet tidings.

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