Nature & Environment Nov 21, 2017

Awesome Facts You Might Not Know About Icelandic Culture

Guest post by Nayab Hasan

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A country engraved on the heart of many travel lovers, Iceland is known for its different yet awesome customs. Have you ever wondered what makes it so special that people simply can’t resist paying a visit? Check out these five awesome facts about Iceland’s culture you might not have known!

No Surnames
You read that right; Icelanders do not use surnames. Instead, people just call each other by their first names and just add the name of their father or mother for a surname placeholder. For example, Johnsdottir means John’s daughter. Across Iceland, residents go by their first names, whether it be a local teacher or the president of the country.

Geothermal Water Reservoirs
Iceland’s natural hot water reservoirs are known to provide soothing warmth from Iceland’s cold air. Visitors flock to Iceland to take in the wonders of the world-famous Blue Lagoon and bathe in hot water pools like Mývatn Nature Baths. These springs not only offer a chance for weary travelers to relax and rejuvenate, but they are also known for their skin healing abilities.

Thirteen Santas
Christmastime is known as one of the best times of year to visit Iceland. The whole country comes alive with enchanting decorations and festivities. Iceland is unique in that the country does not recognize just one Santa, but thirteen Santas. Affectionately named the Yule Lads, these folklore figures travel one after another from December 12th until Christmas Eve to bring gifts for the children. They are said to be the descendants of trolls and generally live in mountains. Each Yule Lad showcases different characteristics for each night that they descend from the mountains into town. For example, the Skyr Gobbler and Pot Scraper are said to eat up the food in your house and lick your bowls clean!

The Midnight Sun
Thinking about the summer solstice? One of the best places to experience a full day of sun is Iceland. During the summer months, Iceland is illuminated with sunshine until midnight. Many visitors come to Iceland to partake in the activities that are held during the midnight sun phenomenon, including music festivals like the Secret Solstice Festival!

Þorramatur: The Iceland’s National Food
Þorramatur, the national food of Iceland, is a traditional dish that mainly consists of meat and fish, and is served with butter and bread. The food is a tribute to the culture of Iceland. Many tourists find the taste to be unique and flavorful!

Isn’t every fact about this beautiful country just fascinating? If you want to learn more and experience this unique culture firsthand, be sure to make Iceland your next travel destination in 2018!

The article is presented by Nayab Hasan from 9ightout. He is a 22 YO travel enthusiast who loves sharing his travelogues.