Spend Christmas in Iceland like a local

Posted on Categories Christmas, Culture, Holidays, Iceland, TraditionTags , , ,

Christmas is only few days away so the Christmas frenzy is at its peak in Reykjavík. After all Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in Iceland and many families tend to go all out when it comes to preparation.
We did cover a lot about the Christmas season in Iceland in our prior Christmas post but here’s some more insider information on how majority of Icelandic locals like to spend their holiest of holidays.

 

The celebration starts on December 23rd (Þorláksmessa) which is the biggest shopping day in Iceland.  Locals flock downtown to do their last minute Christmas shopping in the evening so downtown Reykjavík becomes very lively with stores and cafés open as late as midnight. Taking a stroll down Laugavegur, Reykjavík’s main shopping street on December 23rd is quite an experience and sort of a must if you’re visiting. Checking out the holiday lights, sitting at a cafe and grabbing hot chocolate or Christmas beer while listening to Icelandic Christmas carols and even possibly running into a yule lad or two.

Another Icelandic tradition on this particular day is to gather with friends or family and eat fermented skate (the fish). Why this tradition is so popular is bizarre because the stench of the fermented fish is so strong that it takes days getting the smell out of your house or your clothes. Then again, Icelanders do love holding onto their Christmas traditions. 

A lot of Icelanders also wait to put up and decorate their Christmas tree until December 23rd.  However that tradition seems to be changing as people like enjoying their Christmas tree a bit longer during the dark December month.

On December 24th Christmas officially starts for Icelanders. At 18:00 precisely the churches ring their bells which symbolizes that Christmas is here.  At that time Icelandic families sit down for their elaborate Christmas meal, followed with present openings. Yes, we don’t wait until Christmas morning to open presents. You may ask why and the answer is: why wait!?

Many spend the rest of the evening playing board games, some go to midnight mass and then end the night reading a book that they received for Christmas. It is a tradition in Iceland that everyone must receive at least one book for Christmas to read on Christmas eve, of course with some chocolate or cookies.

Christmas day is often spent home relaxing and/or at a family gathering. On December 26th, the second day of Christmas as we Icelanders call it, is the same as Christmas day just a bit more casual. For example many like to go out and hit the bars in the evening as bars stay open late.

 

Now you should have enough information to go and celebrate Christmas like an Icelandic local.

 

Gleðileg Jól/Merry Christmas! 

CenterHotels December Fun

Posted on Categories Events, our-hotels, WinterTags , , ,

We at CenterHotels are getting pumped for the holidays and to share the joy we will be hosting some fun events in December like Wine Tasting at Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar and Christmas Yoga & Spa at CenterHotel Miðgarður.  You are of course more then welcome to join in on the fun.


DECEMBER 14 | WINE TASTING EVENING AT JÖRGENSEN KITCHEN & BAR

A wine specialist will be visiting  us at Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar on December 14th offering a very special night for all you wine tasting fans.  Perfect addition to a good evening for couples and a wonderful twist for group of friends longing to meet up during the festive holiday season.

The wine tasting evening will take place at 19:00 on December 14th and in the wine tasting you’ll enjoy the wisdom of our wine specialist that will be offering you a taste of four different types of wines.

The wine tasting experience will cost only 3.900 kr (30€) per person and limited seats are available.

To reserve a seat by by the wine tasting table, please book here.


DECEMBER 18 | HOLIDAY YOGA AT CENTERHOTEL MIÐGARÐUR

How about enjoying a little extra in terms of relaxation during your visit in Reykjavík?  We are happy to announce that on December 18th we will be offering a special holiday yoga class at CenterHotel Miðgarður.

The wonderful yoga instructor Thorey Vidars will lead a one hour gentle hatha yoga class focusing on breathing exercises, easy poses and deep nourishing relaxation.

After the yoga class all our guests are welcome to try out our new Miðgarður spa which includes a spacious sauna and hot tubs both inside the spa as well as outside in a secluded garden.

The yoga will begin at 17:30 on December 18th.

The price of the yoga class & access to Miðgarður spa is only 3.900 kr (30€) per person.  Limited space is available.

To register for the holiday yoga, please register here


We can’t wait to see you all in your best holiday mood. Christmas hats are preferred but not mandatory.