Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Festivals & Holidays in Iceland

EuropeIcelandFestivals & Holidays in Iceland
  • Christmas: Follows the Western church’s calendar. On Christmas Eve (December 24), Christmas Day (December 25), New Year’s Eve (December 31), and New Year’s Day (January 1), stores are typically closed (1 January).
  • Iceland has a total of 13 jule lads. Historically, the jule lads were pranksters who made amends by presenting gifts to youngsters. Each jule boy gets his own day, with the first one arriving on December 12th.
  • Bonfires and fireworks are lit to commemorate the Epiphany (icelandic: rettándinn). Icelanders dress up as elves and hidden folk on this day.
  • Easter follows the Western church’s calendar. On Good Friday (the Friday before Easter), Easter, and Pentecost, stores are typically closed (49 days after Easter). The following days are marked by Icelandic customs:
  • Bolludagur – A 7-week period previous to Easter, held on a Monday. Puffed buns loaded with jam and whipped cream are served during an Icelandic celebration. Children are traditionally permitted to slap their parents before leaving their beds, in exchange for a puffed bun.
  • Sprengidagur – 7 weeks before Easter, on a Tuesday. Icelanders are supposed to consume salted pork and yellow peas during this celebration.
  • Öskudagur/Ash Wednesday – On a Wednesday, seven weeks before Easter. Children dress up in costumes and sing for candy on this day. This is Iceland’s counterpart of Halloween in the United States.
  • Sjómannadagurinn (Seamen’s day): The first Sunday in June is when the festival takes place. Icelanders celebrate with sailors in the closest port on this national holiday.
  • Þjóðhátíðardagurinn (Icelandic National day): The event took place on June 17th. On this day, stores are typically closed. The festivities usually begin with a parade and speeches, and then go on to less formal gatherings.
  • Verslunarmannahelgi (Workers weekend): The festival takes place the first weekend in August. This is usually Iceland’s busiest holiday. Shops are usually closed on Sundays. Outdoor events attract Icelanders from all around the nation.