Thursday, February 7, 2008

Öskudagur and Winter Lights Festival

As I mentioned before today is Öskudagur (Ash Wednesday), which is celebrated here by dressing up in costumes (a la Halloween) and gathering candies from the stores. It was interesting to see - monsters, princesses, young pop-stars, knights and dinosaurs were stomping the streets in small groups, getting into every store on their way. The stores were well prepared for the visitors and graciously distributed candies in exchange for songs. There were a lot of lovely little choruses today and some adults tried to get candies by singing too.

I am not sure if the schools were closed for such occasion but I spotted first dressed up youngsters at 9:30 in the morning. I regret not having my camera with me but it started to devour batteries with such greed that it is impossible to keep up with its appetite. (There is always a silver lining though - I ordered a new camera this weekend, which suppose to be one of the best in its range.) The boys dressed in costumes for the school celebration but didn't have any interest to go trick-or-treating at the stores, which agreed with me just fine.

I discovered that starting tomorrow and finishing on Sunday Reykjavik will be celebrating Winter Lights Festival, which suppose "to stimulate and enliven the city life in mid-winter." It was also said that "all the major institutions of culture and education participate in the Festival and sports clubs, galleries, artists, shops, restaurants and many more join in the fun." Now I am intrigued and determined to find "the fun". Perhaps Icelanders guard the secret of "fun” because so far all my searches and inquiries led me to only one event "The Museum Night." It will be held this Friday starting at 19:00. On "Museum Night" all the museums are opened until 1 a.m. and “conduct educational and fun activities.” (No, they didn't care to elaborate). The only way to know for sure is to attend the event and that what I will do on Friday evening.

P.S. Will you look at this link - it has a very impressive and detailed list of events for whole four days of the Festival. It will take me a while to understand it but I have to practice my Icelandic.



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