Last day of Christmas shopping- the mass of St.Þorlákur

December 23rd is called the mass of St.Þorlákur in Iceland. It's a day when shops are open until 11 pm and people flock to the city centre to shop, meet people and get into the Christmas spirit. 

Although most shops are open until around noon on December 24th, a lot of people tend to do their last minute shopping on Þorláksmessa.  The day is named after a 12th century priest called Þorlákur Þorláksson who died on December 23rd in 1193. He was canonized by the Icelandic parliament in 1198.

On Þorláksmessa there are also several traditions. The first is to eat fermented skate at midday. The dish smells extremely pungent but is loved by many and multiple restaurants in Reykjavik will serve this on December 23rd. Many people like to eat smoked lamb on this day and it's also the day when the last yule lad comes to town, Kertasníkir, or candle snatcher who has an unexplained penchant for candles. 


Rain showers


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12 °C