Winter

Gledileg Jol: Merry Yule from Iceland

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Iceland image by Oliver Hoffman

When and why early man began celebrating Yule is shrouded in mystery, but the celebration at this time of year certainly seems to have been connected with the longest night of the year and the promise of the returning sun.

As is the case in many Northern European countries, especially those having precious little sunlight this time of year, the celebration of Yule or Jol in Iceland dates back beyond memory or written language.

Celebrating Nativities, Presepe, Crèche, Bélen

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My perosnal nativity - Italian carving with native American semi-precious stone fetish animals.

For most of the season, I have focused on the celebrations and traditions of Northern Europe. Today, since it falls right in the middle of the visitations of nativities in Southern European countries as well as South America and Mexico, I am sharing something I have wanted to share for the past three seasons - the beautiful nativities to be found in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Mexico.

Scandinavian Christmas on the Pickled Herring Shares My How-to for Palæg Chokolade

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Palæg Chokolade! One of my two favorite breakfast treats! (the other being Chocolade Hagel of course!)

Both are versions of chocolate made for topping toast! And what could be more welcome on a frosty morning! Even my beloved Lingonberries have had to step aside for this!

Celebrating Santa Lucia Day in Italy

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Image courtesy of Madame Renard

Santa Lucia is beloved by the Scandinavian people, most especially the Swedish; however, Lucia was born, lived and died a martyr in Sicily.  December 13, Saint Lucia Day,  is celebrated still to this day in many parts of Italy and after three long years of sharing the Scandinavian celebration of this holiday on this blog I am so thrilled to finally be able to share in what ways the Italians celebrate. 

Christmas Elves are Arriving Everywhere! Don't Miss the Yule Lads Arrival in Iceland!

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It is time! The first one will be showing up any minute now! And will be followed by twelve of his kin over the next 12 days!

Who? Why Jolasveinarnir of course! Also known as Yule Lads. From now til Christmas, one Jolasveinar will come down from his mysterious hiding place in the mountains of Iceland to join in the celebration and merriment of the holiday season. It is their happy task to seek out good children and leave them little treats.

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