Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Holiday Season Is Over

On Sunday night the last of the Yule Lads departed for the mountains and turbulent fireworks kept us awake for a long time. It was the Twelfth Night of Christmas. This holiday marked the coming of the Epiphany, concluded the Twelve Days of Christmas and announced the end of the Christmas festivities. Long ago it was celebrated as a time of merry making when the rich were supposed to share what they had with the poor. Twelfth Night is also believed to be the night when all Christmas decorations should be removed so as not to bring bad luck upon the home. If decorations are not removed on Twelfth Night, they should stay up all year. Oh, well, we are doomed. In Iceland, Twelfth Night turned into Thirteenth Night, "þrettándinn", since they celebrate Christmas a day earlier. After stripping your Christmas tree from all its glory, you suppose to toss it down from a balcony, if you have one, or simply drag it out on the street.

So, the holiday season is officially over. The streets of Hafnarfjöður appeared to be in various states of undress and distress: half of lamp posts lost their holiday lights, the sidewalks are littered with remains of fireworks, and Christmas trees are laying on every corner, waiting to be collected and brought to their final destination. Most likely it will be the wood mills which will mulch them into pieces. I envisioned them turning into smooth, white paper, instead they will be turned into the wooden chips to place as a layer over landscaping. Not especially poetic but practical way to recycle and give back to earth.

*My bad, as I learnt today from Icelandic Review, the Christmas trees will be used for making compost. “Then we give the compost to people who are interested in using it,” Ingthór Gudmundsson, stationmaster of waste management company Gámathjónustan told Morgumbladid. Even more prosaic, but way more down to earth.

No comments: