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.
Aron was by far the most popular name for newborn boys in Iceland in 2016, for the sixth year in a row. Emilía defends the title as the most popular name for newborn girls, having jumped from ninth to first place in 2015.
Historical novel Hundadagar (‘Dog Days’) by Icelandic author Einar Már Guðmundsson was named as one of the best foreign-language novels of the 21st century in China earlier this month. The award ceremony will take place in March 2017.
In almost 50 percent of Icelandic homes (46.4 percent to be exact), a smoked rack of pork was served for dinner on Christmas Eve. The tradition—which is fairly new and under Danish influence—remains popular, although the ratio has dropped from 49.8 percent from last year.
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.
Icelandic musician Björk posted a message on Facebook yesterday, which has received a lot of attention.
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.
The main actors in Icelandic coming-of-age film Heartstone (Hjartasteinn) by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, Baldur Einarsson and Blær Hinriksson, were both named Best Actor at the Marrakech International Film Festival on Saturday.
Icelandic writer Sjón’s novella Moonstone was recently listed among the year’s best books in Financial Times.
The US rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers will be giving a concert in Iceland for the first time on July 31 next year.
Next year, the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival will be held in Akureyri, North Iceland, in addition to Reykjavík.
In support of refugees, the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men has released a new video for their song ‘We Sink,’ which appeared on their 2015 album, Beneath the Skin.
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.
In a TV interview on the news analysis program Kastljós last night, Icelandic musician Björk spoke of the world of virtual reality, which she has embraced.
The first artist announcement is in for Sónar Reykjavík electronic music festival, scheduled for February 16-18, 2017, at Harpa Concert Hall.