Today is the day known as Þrettándinn here in Iceland, which in Anglo-Saxonland would be called Twelfth Night.
[I always used to wonder why it was called Þrettándinn, aka ‘the thirteenth’ here in Niceland, and Twelfth Night in English-speaking countries, until I realized that Christmas officially begins a day early here in Niceland, i.e. on Christmas Eve, which accounts for the extra day. D’oh!]
Þrettándinn marks the official end to the Christmas celebrations and is celebrated with bonfires, more fireworks, and weird apparitions appearing out of the blue on horseback [elves and fairies, mostly – and for some reason it always seems to be the Elf King and Queen who make an appearance at bonfires]. It’s the day when people take down their decorations and throw their trees off their balconies [hedzup!] and basically put the Christmas mayhem behind them and get on with other things. Like reconstructing the economy.
This year, religious organizations here in Niceland have banded together and placed full-page advertisements in the papers urging people to leave the white fairy lights up while the winter darkness prevails. The lights in the darkness. Shining into our minds and hearts at this difficult time. Wee bits of electric comfort, as it were.
Truth be told, I’m so relieved that Christmas is over. This was the most exhausting Christmas season I’ve lived in ages. It’s a complete blur, in fact. In recent years I’ve become fairly adept at relaxing and enjoying Christmas, but not this year. I felt like I was rushing constantly in the several days leading up to the Big Day [probably because I was], and it definitely didn’t help that I was struck down with a nasty virus around the middle of December that I’m only just now getting over. So basically, although this Christmas certainly had its highlights, it will go down in history as the Christmas when YT found herself at 7 pm on Christmas Eve [when normal families are well into Christmas dinner] crashed out in bed, trying my best to summon any last vestiges of energy to get me through the remainder of the evening. Not good. Not exemplary, at all.
That said, I’m a bit sad to bid farewell to our lovely Christmas tree:
Adieu, pretty tree! May you have a long and happy life as wood chips on an idyllic country path! And adieu two dancing men [Johannes & Johannes] on my banner! You’ll go the way of the rest of the decorations as soon as I can find something to replace you.
IT’S BEEN RAINING ON AND OFF ALL DAY
Right now, it’s sprinkling. A storm is forecast in the northeast and gales for the rest of the country, with rising temps. Crikey! It’s unseasonably warm already – we’re going to have the crocuses sprouting soon if this keeps up. At the moment 6°C [43F], the sun came up at 11:12 am and will set at 3:55 pm.