17 Mind-Blowing Iceland Culture Facts: Guide To A Scandinavian Country | Kidadl


17 Mind-Blowing Iceland Culture Facts: Guide To A Scandinavian Country

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Iceland is a Nordic country.

There are significant Viking links. Icelanders are proud of their past and the various rituals that go with it.

Icelandic has strong roots in the Old Norse language. It was used by early Viking settlers.

Apart from their Viking ancestors, Icelanders enjoy a vibrant culture of cuisine, literature, and the arts. Reykjavik, the capital city, features galleries, bookshops, many theaters, and a philharmonic orchestra. Icelandic music, which combines pop and folk, has formed its own genre. Attending a local performance is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and ambiance.

In Iceland, there are a number of special days that commemorate a variety of events. Husband's Day and Wife's Day are celebrated with a gift and a dinner on Bóndadagur and Konudagur, respectively. Thorrablót is another significant day that commemorates the ancient month of Thorri, during which Icelanders often attend at least one feast filled with excellent delicacies, including smoked lamb. In addition, they will sing, play games, and tell tales.

The very widespread belief in elves is an intriguing aspect of Icelanders that testifies to their heritage of magic and mystery. Half the population believes elves are plausible or conceivable to still wander the world. Elves, trolls, and other mythological creatures are symbols of Iceland's long-standing love of mythology.

Customs And Traditions In Iceland

Iceland has a rich culture. There are many traditions that can be dated back centuries. The forefathers had been following these. Some customs are unique to Iceland that you may not see anywhere else in the world.

  • Until 1989, beer was forbidden. This dates back to the days of prohibition.
  • Iceland was attempting to break away from Denmark as Danish people drank a lot of beer.
  • Icelanders did not aspire to be like the Danes. Beer was outlawed.
  • Beer could occasionally be found in a fisherman's garage, although it had less than 2.25 % alcohol.
  • Iceland now offers some great local artisan brewers.
  • The Arctic fox is the sole indigenous mammal. These critters can live in Iceland's severe climate by devouring birds and fish. Tourists aim is to spot one of these adorable creatures in the wild when they visit Iceland!
  • The highest per capita rate of cinema attendance is in Iceland, which is confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • In Iceland, there is an interval in the middle of the film. Everyone stands up to use the restroom or restock on food and beverages.
  • Iceland is a huge supporter of gender equality and takes active measures to stop violence against women.
  • Fishing and fish processing are the principal industries. Fish accounts for 70% of exported items and is among the cleanest in the world.
  • Hardfiskur is a popular food, similar to beef jerky. It's excellent with a heaping spoonful of golden Icelandic butter.
  • Handball is the country's national sport. Think of it as a hybrid between basketball and lacrosse.
  • Handball is played inside on a basketball court, but the nets are the size of hockey nets. The ball is compact enough to be carried in the palm of your hand. Just like in lacrosse, the ball is transferred from player to player with the purpose of winning games by the highest score. It appears to be fast-paced and dramatic.
  • The internet is available to 97% of Icelanders. Even in the most distant parts of the country, Internet access is surprisingly simple to come by on a little island in the Northern Atlantic.
  • A piece of great news for travelers is that they can connect to the internet in most cafés and hostels. One can always be online when visiting Iceland. Access to mobile apps is easy for navigation and uploading pictures.
  • In January, the average temperature is 31 F (-0.4 C)!
  • Contrary to popular belief, Iceland does not get that cold in the winter.
  • The Gulf stream effect heats the country. The temperature varies greatly depending on where you reside. Communities in northern Iceland are experiencing cooler temperatures and more snowfall.
  • Icelandic horses have two more gaits as compared to other horse breeds.
  • Icelandic horses have distinctive gaits such as the tölt and a soaring pace.
  • Among other fun facts, the Icelandic language is 800 years old. Iceland's population is very proud of the language. Icelandic children learn it at a young age from their elders.
  • The northern lights, aurora borealis, and hot springs are among the unique destinations in Iceland.
  • Among the important Iceland facts, it is known that there is very little violent crime. So it has been termed the safest country.
  • The country's landmass has been created by volcanic eruptions.
  • Vatnajökull is Iceland's largest glacier by a wide margin.
  • The Blue Lagoon is located on Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula.
  • Iceland has a small population of 360,000 only.
  • There is no railway system.
  • Lava fields can be visited when in Iceland.

Iceland Christmas Culture

According to Iceland's history, Christmas in Iceland begins four weeks before the official holiday. It begins on December 24 and concludes 13 days later on January 6.

  • Icelandic culture is very unique.
  • Christmas is celebrated in a unique manner here.
  • Traditionally, one candle is lit each Sunday until December 24, when four candles are lit.
  • The Christmas celebration begins at 6:00 p.m. when the church bells ring.
  • Spiritually active and traditional people may attend church at this hour, whereas secular Icelanders will immediately begin their holiday feast.
  • They give presents and spend time together when supper is over.
  • Smoked lamb, ptarmigan, and turkey are the most popular Yule foods in Iceland. Pork is also widely consumed.
  • Thirteen days before December 24, children will leave their shoes by the window so that the 13 Yule Lads might put tiny gifts in them.
  • The Yule Lads seem to be the offspring of two trolls that live in the Scandinavian mountains, Grýla and Leppalúði. Each of the Yule Lads is notorious for a specific type of misbehavior.
  • According to Icelandic culture, Yule Lads used to dress in traditional Viking wool garb. But they are now renowned for their more iconic red and white costumes.
  • Every family normally arranges a Christmas tree inside in the family room, with the majority of them installing it on December 11.
  • Along with the ornaments, gifts are placed beneath the tree.
  • On December 23, it is also customary in many households to boil fish (skate). On this day, Saint Thorlak mass is held.
  • It is customary for families to collaborate over the Christmas season to create little biscuits to offer or present to guests.
  • The most prevalent are flat gingerbread cookies embellished with a variety of glaze colors.
  • Many households also make laufabrau, a thin, delicate bread that is carved out with a particular tool and folded up method.
  • The end of the year is separated into two days: Old Year's Day and New Year's Day. Icelanders light fireworks on the night of the first and the dawn of the second, blowing away the old year and embracing the new.
  • Icelanders bid farewell to the Yule Lads and other supernatural creatures such as elves and trolls 13 days after December 24. You can see such a celebration in Icelandic folklore.
  • Throughout the country, bonfires are lit, and elves, Yule Lads, and Icelanders dance together before saying farewell until the following Christmas. This holiday is known as Epiphany Day in other parts of the world.
Icelandic horses have two more gaits as compared to other horse breeds

Viking Culture Shown In Iceland

The Vikings had settled in Iceland. They have a large impact on the culture and traditions that followed. Reykjavík is the capital city and is famous among tourists. The Northern lights are the other attraction for tourists. But the main effect is the effect of Vikings in Iceland.

  • Iceland is a volcanic, cold island in a remote corner of the North Atlantic.
  • It was one of the last countries to be truly discovered by its first settlers.
  • The first settlers were either Irish Christians or Norse Vikings. This happened in the ninth century. There’s a lot of Viking blood running through Icelanders’ veins.
  • The Norsemen were not the first humans to set foot on the island, despite being the initial settlers.
  • Irish monks have been known to visit Iceland and maybe dwell there for a brief period.
  • However, when the first Scandinavians came, most likely by mistake, in the ninth century, they discovered an uninhabited island. Not like the invasions of the British Isles and parts of western Europe, the trips to Iceland were solely for the purpose of resolving disputes.
  • The first settlers were primarily from Norway. There are indications of certain females from the British Isles amongst the initial inhabitants. It is unknown if they were voluntary members of the human colony.
  • The extensively documented and drawn Icelandic sagas are one of the reasons we know so much about the Viking Age.
  • The early Nordic literature was oral; the sagas chronicle events mostly from the ninth, to the early 11th century. It was not until the 14th century that they were written down.
  • As a result, their historical authenticity and the level of artistic license shown over the centuries cannot be fully appreciated.
  • Explore these sagas on your own at the Saga Museum in Reykjavik. Many significant events from the epics are discussed thoroughly through displays and an English audio tour.
  • As a result, their historical authenticity and the level of artistic license shown over the centuries cannot be fully appreciated.
  • Explore these sagas on your own at the Saga Museum in Reykjavik. Many significant events from the epics are discussed thoroughly through displays and an English audio tour.
  • Borgarnes Viking Settlement Center is located about an hour's drive north of Reykjavik. The colony center blends art and technology to convey the story of Egil's Saga in three installations. Egil Skalla-Grimsson, a Borgarnes native, is regarded as the first 'warrior poet.'
  • Snorrastofa is Snorri Sturluson's residence. It is not a long distance from Borgarnes. It is a must-see for young historians. Sturluson was a Viking law professor whose works influenced so much of Icelandic heritage.
  • Stöng Commonwealth Farm is a recreation of homes destroyed by the 1104 eruption based on excavation findings. The outcomes of this study aided us in understanding how Viking longhouses were constructed throughout the so-called Commonwealth era.
  • There are Viking events and festivals in Iceland: Hafnarfjörur, just south of Reykjavik, has an annual Viking festival.
  • One can practically witness Icelandic culture. See countless numbers of Vikings glammed up in Viking-style outfits munching, competing with each other in battle. They demonstrate Viking-style fighting arts like ax flinging and archery while trying to sell their wares ranging from leather goods, swords, silver jewelry, fur, and daily essentials made of bone fragments.

Western Culture Influenced Iceland Over The Last 100 Years

Katrin Jakobsdóttir is Iceland's Prime Minister. Iceland is a forward-thinking country in Europe in the field of geothermal energy due to its abundance of hot springs. The Icelandic people have been attempting to harness the fresh air and vitality of the blue lagoon.

  • It is one of the world's oldest democracies. The Ancient Greek, Roman, and Icelandic democracies are examples of great democracies.
  • Not everybody is aware that Iceland boasts the world's oldest parliament that is currently in operation.
  • You will ultimately arrive at Thingvellir National Park if you go around the Golden Circle. Its breathtaking scenery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is proof that there was no tectonic plate collision of the North American continent with Europe.
  • Thingvellir is the site where Icelandic chieftains assembled in 930 CE to form the Alinghi (or 'Althing' to English speakers). These chiefs and their descendants subsequently convened in Thingvellir on an annual basis until 1798 to debate concerns and make laws.
  • Following a period of transition, including a 43-year dissolution by royal edict in 1800, the Althing was re-established in Reykjavik and reconvened in 1845. It is still operational today.
Written By
Sakshi Thakur

<p>Sakshi is a skilled content writer with extensive experience in the education industry. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for helping others, she has developed a reputation for excellence in academic content writing. She has worked with esteemed professionals such as Mr. Kapil Raj, a professor of History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, further enhancing her knowledge and expertise. Sakshi is well-versed in the latest developments in e-learning and has a deep understanding of how to engage students and make learning fun and accessible. In her spare time, she indulges in her creative passions, including painting, embroidery, and listening to soft music. She also enjoys exploring new cultures and traveling, which helps her broaden her perspectives and inspire her writing. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from Panjab University.</p>

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