A beautiful christmas tradition

A beautiful christmas tradition

A beautiful christmas tradition

Visiting the cemetery forms part of many Icelanders Christmas rituals. Hey, it’s not as morbid as it might sound.

In the beginning of advent we light up our cemeteries with colourful christmas lights much to the astonishement of american soldiers and their families when they stayed here on the US Nato base situated just outside of Keflavík. It was a sight they were not accustomed to.

On December 24th, and often on New Year's Eve day as well, many families will come together at the graves of their loved ones and place on them a candle or some sort of light, to show that they are remembered and missed. This is a beautiful sight in the midwinter darkness.

This is a challenge in Icelandic weather when it can be both windy and freezing cold. Many times have I stood in the cemetery with blue fingers trying to light a candle, and sometimes I have lost the battle. But usally the cemetaries are packet with people doing the exact same thing and they will often lend a hand.