Iceland Traditions

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Icelanders are proud of their rich cultural heritage. World renown acquired the old Icelandic sagas, which reflect the ancient and medieval history of this small nation.

Religion: In Iceland, operates Evangelical Lutheran Church. Lutheran churches are many. In Reykjavik there is the Catholic Church and several churches of other denominations with the following distribution of parishioners: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland - 92.2%, other Lutheran - 3,1%, Roman Catholic - 0,9%, others - 3,8% .

January 1 - New Year.
Mid April - Easter, Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
May 1 - Labor Day.
end of May - early June - Ascension.
first half of June - Whit Monday.
mid-June - Trinity.
June 17 - Independence Day.
August 7 - Banking Day.
December 24 - Christmas Eve (starting from noon).
December 25 - Christmas.
December 26 - Christmas-tide.
Dec. 31 - New Year's Eve (starting from noon).

The most famous and popular in the country's national holidays are held in accordance with various historical and religious (often have pagan roots) events, and therefore their conduct is often translates into a real demonstration of folk traditions and rituals.

Holiday "Trettaundinn" ( "The thirteenth day after Christmas, usually on Jan. 6) notes go to the mountains the last of the many Santa Clauses. On this day, on the outskirts of cities and on specially prepared sites burned huge bonfires of rubbish last year and launching fireworks. Beer Day (March) held in honor of the adoption of the "Law on robust beer, overturning a ban on the manufacture and use of this beverage, which operated in Iceland for 75 years. In the days of the festival is held almost nationwide beer festival, as well as race on snowmobiles and snow sculpture festival. "Sumardagurinn Firtsi" (the third Thursday in April) is a real carnival, the first day of summer "(that day actually ends the long polar night). In the capital every two years conducted a traditional folk festival of arts.

Holiday "Somannadagurinn" (the first week of June) is devoted to Mariners and is accompanied by various competitions on water sports and military-historical dramatizations, dedicated to a particular geographical event (a preference, of course, though, the "discovery" of the island by the Vikings in 874). Independence Day (June 17) is the biggest national festival, accompanied by colorful parades, street music and dance performances, theatrical shows, and general merriment. Midsummer, Midsummer (June 24) is considered day magical powers and healing from diseases. Festival Pyodhatio Vestmannayar "(August) is accompanied by a" fiery fun "in huge bonfires, departures and everybody on the bosom of nature, as well as numerous song and dance performances. Almost parallel to it celebrated "Verslunarmannahelgi" - a holiday family reunion, is also accompanied by numerous concerts, schou and general merriment. Stand out numerous community festivals end of the fishing season (dates vary in different localities of the country), when virtually the entire population celebrates the end of the fishing season (although in fact he did not end there - the fish are caught here year-round). Such joy is not surprising - in Putin's face in a sea of almost everything - from the mayor and the teachers to the church caretaker and a policeman. Therefore, the end of its legitimately becomes public holiday, the final heavy "harvest."

Christmas in Iceland has its very unusual characteristics - here still believe in the existence of trolls, gnomes and elves, which the New Year leaving his "hidden world" and can meet with people. Even "Youlasveynn" (Santa Claus in Icelandic, all of them are here comprise as much 13 pieces!) And he is a descendant of the mountain trolls. "Santa Claus" live in the mountains and begin to come to the human shelter for 13 days before Christmas Eve, one Santa every day, bringing in a pre-cooked red boots gifts. Therefore Icelanders begin to celebrate Christmas for 13 days before the New Year, and continues to celebrate its still the same after. On the slopes of an extinct volcano near the capital Esya before Christmas is "congress" of the Icelandic pagans, accompanied by numerous festive events.

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