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Christmas traditions in Iceland

 Icelanders celebrate Christmas with high spirit and decorations. Their customs and celebration matches with those of the Americans. Christmas is a family ceremony to the residents of Iceland. They get-together from parts of the country and enjoy quality time with each other while exchanging presents. It is the longest holiday for Icelanders as every official establishment closes from the day of Christmas to December 27th. Christmas parties start two days before the ceremony and it lasts until December 27th.

Christmas Traditions:
Tree Decorations- Icelanders are very particular about the tree decoration. Different types of garlands, ornaments, lighting effects are used to decorate the tree. Icelanders prefer live trees rather than fake ones. Some people even hang fruits like- oranges, apples on the tree branches to give it a more lifelike appearance. Homemade ornaments are very popular but some people buy these ornaments from stores.
Lighting Effects- In early years, people used to put candles inside their house on the eve of Christmas. But now they use electrical lights for their home decoration and Advent lighting for their prayer room. This lighting consists of four candles and it signifies community.
Þorláksmessa- The day before Christmas is called Þorláksmessa in Iceland. Icelanders shop for themselves and their loved ones this day. So, it is one of the biggest business transaction day in Iceland. This day is dedicated to the Priest Þorlákur Þórhallsson. Two day long feast starts on the eve of this ceremony.
Food Types- Preparations of Lamb meat is called ‘kjötsúpa’. Hangikjöt, and ptarmigan are two other most popular dishes that are prepared in Christmas.
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