Christmas tree Iceland

Happy Holidays from the IceNews Team

Straight from IceNews HQ in Iceland, we want to wish you Happy Holidays, wherever you are in the world.

The holiday period is the time we spend reflecting on the year, and wow, what a year 2020 has been. From the COVID pandemic to the recent mudslides in Seyðisfjörður, it sure feels like it’s been one tragic event after another. But, something we Scandinavians pride ourselves in, is our perseverance.

In Iceland, unlike some of our friends across the world, we’re fortunate enough to spend the holidays with our loved ones, well, if that number doesn’t exceed ten people. We also have some pretty unique traditions. So, to lighten the mood, let’s take a quick look at a few of Iceland’s Christmas traditions.

Today, 23rd December, marks Thorláksmessa, which is considered as the last day to prepare for the Christmas celebrations. Traditionally, the date celebrates the death of Thorlakur, who is recognized as the patron saint of Iceland. It’s customary to eat buried and fermented skate, whereby ammonia-infused odors fill the streets of Reykjavík.

On the 24th, Icelanders ring in the Christmas celebrations when the clock strikes 6 PM, which usually includes the opening of presents and the eating of sugar potatoes and Hamborgarhryggur (smoked ham), or nut roast for the non-meat eaters.

Then on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Icelanders once again meet up with family, eat food, and watch films or play board games. All the while, snacking on konfekt, otherwise known as confectionery.

No matter what you’re doing over the holiday period, the IceNews team wishes you all the best, and we look forward to spending better days in 2021 with you all.