The Iceland Road Guide wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.
Our Christmas photo this year is from the church in Norðfjörður East Iceland. The Church was built in 1896.
Photograph Óttar Sveinsson.
The Icelandic Yule Lads are the 13 sons of Grýla and Leppalúði, vicious trolls that live in in the Mývatn area in north Iceland.
Grýla is ancient – her name is even mentioned in Snorri Sturluson´s thirteenth century Edda.Grýla and Leppalúði brought up their thirteen sons, the Yule Lads by Lake Myvatn. As the lads grew up they wanted a place of their own and Dimmuborgir was the perfect place for them to settle down.
An old legend in Iceland is, that 13 days prior to Christmas the Yule Lads start coming down from the mountain, one each night.
Children in Iceland place their best shoe on their windowsill before going to bed and each night a little gift is left in it from the Yule Lad that came down from the mountain that night. If the child has been misbehaving, there might be a raw potato left instead.
In December the Icelandic Yule Lads welcome guests to visit them in Dimmuborgir in Mývatn everyday between 1 pm and 3 pm. Every year the Yule Lads go in their annual bath in the Mývatn Naturebath where guests can join them and have some fun. Some of the Yule Lads are not happy with this tradition, because they don´t like the water. The bath takes place two weeks before Christmas.
More information about the Yule Lads can be found on the webpage visitmyvatn.is
Icelanders decorate their houses for Christmas with colourful ligts to brighten the darkness. They start decorating by the end of November and usually a big Christmas tree is lit up in the centre of every town and willage with a big ceremony on a Saturday or a Sunday, four weeks before Christmas. That´s the starting of the Christmas preparation.
Akureyri in the north is a lovely town to visit in December. Walking around the town enjoying the colourful Cristmas decorations, listening to Christmas carols, hot chocolate and candlelight. Cosy atmosphere.
On the webpage visitakureyri.is you can find more information about Akureyri.