I Love January (ÁA)

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asta02_dlEvery year, following the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s, Icelandic magazines and websites are filled with all sorts of ways to make it through January. To shake away the so-called January blues.

I don’t get that. And I’ll tell you why.

First of all, January means a fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to make all your goals and dreams come true. What you did or how you behaved last year is utterly irrelevant.

Secondly, January is the best time to freshen up your wardrobe.  A trip to one of the three best places to shop: Kringlan mall, Smáralind mall and 101 Reykjavík’s cool shopping street Laugavegur is guaranteed to put a smile on any fashionista’s face. Quality clothes do not come cheap in Iceland (at least for Icelanders) so the sales period is a great opportunity to add to your winter wardrobe.

Indicentally, Laugavegur was recently named as one of the world’s ten best shopping streets. That is also where all the finest local design is to be found. With stylish, top quality clothing and accessories, the following ones are must visits: Kiosk, Kronkron, Ella, Jör and Geysir.

Thirdly, January means handball in Iceland. The Men’s European Championship is in full swing, with strákarnir okkarour boys” off to a great start. 

Last Saturday the Icelandic team managed to defeat its big brother, Norway, with a five goal difference and then it tied with Hungary 27-27.

Watching handball is a favorite pastime in Iceland, connecting friends and family over a bowl of popcorn and the national anthem.

The third game took place last night, against Spain. Although we lost in the end, it was a fun and exciting match to watch.

Another one of my favorite things about January is that it’s the time when the travel agencies start issuing their summer brochures. Even though you’re not going anywhere, it is always lovely to dream of being on some white sandy beach with an umbrella drink in hand.

Also, in January, there is bóndadagur – the day in which Icelandic women treat their husbands to a feast. Nowadays, for most people the traditional þorramatur has been replaced with a nice steak dinner.

Last but certainly not the least: in January, the days are getting longer. We have managed to surpass the long winter and are on the path to those endless nights of midnight sun.

Oh, and my birthday is in January.

Ásta Andrésdóttir - asta[at]icelandreview.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.