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In addition to the traditional holidays listed here, numerous festivals take place throughout the year.
Twelfth Night 6 January is celebrated as the last day of Christmas.
Today children celebrate the day by dressing up in costumes and singing in shops for sweets and treats, a little like Hallowe’en celebrations.
Easter A religious holiday in Iceland and marked by the giving and receiving of large chocolate eggs filled with sweets.
Later, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants would be given a day off to visit their mother church and their families.
By the 1920s, the Mothering Sunday tradition became less celebrated and the commercialised American version of the holiday replaced the religious event.
Mothering Sunday is a Catholic and Protestant holiday and is celebrated on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, usually three weeks before Easter Sunday.
In the 16th century, people would visit their ‘mother’ church, the church where they were baptised or their local church, on Laetare Sunday and they were said to have gone ‘a-mothering’.
Bolludagur The tradition of culinary excess during winter continues with bolludagur – literally, bun day – which occurs two days before Lent and symbolises the feast before the fast.
Mothers are usually given gifts and are treated to lunch or a fun outing.
Special Mother’s Day cakes can also be bought and schools usually encourage children to make handmade cards for the mother figures in their lives.
Icelanders have several unique holidays and celebrate the more common ones in special ways.
Many of the festivities are related to ancient Norse traditions, while others tie in to the Christian calendar, even though nowadays most Icelanders celebrate these events in a secular way.