Nammið er búið!

This is somewhat behind schedule, but fun enough to post late, I thought. I just got a chance to put up the few pictures I had lingering from February, two of which were from Öskudagur, or Ash (Wednes)day. As mentioned before, Ash Day is part of Iceland’s three day Carnival proceeding Lent, and is basically their version of Halloween. Kids get the day off from school, dress up in costume, and go around singing to shop keepers in the hope of receiving candy. I didn’t realize, however, quite how involved this is.

Kids in costume on Öskudagur, singing for candy (actually in this case, hot dogs) at the famous “Bæjarins beztu” hot dog stand. According to a kid I heard yelling about it on the street, the stand was giving out not only a free dog, but a free soda, to any kid in costume who sang for them.

Kids in costume on Öskudagur, singing for candy (actually in this case, hot dogs) at the famous “Bæjarins beztu” hot dog stand. According to a kid I heard yelling about it on the street, the stand was giving out not only a free dog, but a free soda, to any kid in costume who sang for them.

According to this delightful video made a few years ago by Iceland Review, kids not only work quite hard on their costumes, they also strategically divide themselves into teams for the day, and work out a whole catalog of songs to sing which correspond to the shops they plan to visit. So, as the video says, if they are going to visit a dairy, they should prepare a song about cows. Bank-robbing tunes are apparently preferred at banks. The better the song fits the location, the more candy can be had.

I don’t remember having to jump through quite so many hoops on Halloween myself…

“All the candy is gone!” (Sign on the door of a hair salon, afternoon of Ash Wednesday, or Öskudagur, which is basically Iceland’s Halloween. Kids go around to shops in costume, sing a song for the proprietors, and are rewarded with candy. That is, until the candy runs out…)

“All the candy is gone!” (Sign on the door of a hair salon, afternoon of Ash Wednesday, or Öskudagur, which is basically Iceland’s Halloween. Kids go around to shops in costume, sing a song for the proprietors, and are rewarded with candy. That is, until the candy runs out…)

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