Páskar/Easter in Iceland

Jenna Boholij/Icelandic Festival of Manitoba

Páskar/Easter in Iceland is celebrated in a similar way to North America, with a slight Icelandic twist.

Icelanders enjoy a five day weekend which includes Skírdagur/Sheer Day (Maundy Thursday), FöstudagurinnLangi/ Long Friday (Good Friday), Páskar (Easter Sunday) and Annar í páskum/The Second Day of Easter (Easter Monday). Icelandic Easter Eggs

As with most Icelandic holidays it's a time spent with family and friends. Ísafjörður is host to Aldrei fór ég suður, a large music festival, over the Easter weekend, and Skíðavikan, or Ski-week. There are church masses to attend as well as an annual Easter egg hunt on Viðey Island. 

Although there's no Easter Bunny in Iceland (who needs the Easter bunny when you have the Yule Lads and Huldufólk), Easter eggs are a part of the holiday tradition, in a much bigger way. Children receive large, chocolate decorated eggs, filled with a málshátturs (proverb). There are over thirty different kinds of Easter eggs from dark chocolate with caramel to peppery/salted licorice. Icelandic Easter Eggs

Below are a few examples of the type of confusing proverb one might receive:

  •  Fíflin eru getspökus - Idiots are the greatest guessers
  •  Sjaldan hlaer hygginn hátt - A wise person seldom laughs out loud
  • Oft er dyggd undir dökkum hárum - Often you can find virtue under dark hairs
  • Ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi - Bare is the back of a brotherless man
  • Efter þvi sem gamlir fuglar sungu, kvököu þeir ungu - As the old birds sing, so do the young ones tweet.
  • Engum flygur sofanda staekt gess i munn - Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
  • Linur bartskeri gjörir fúin sár: Mild physician – putrid wounds.
  • Pá mér klaeÆr, parf ég að klóra mér - To whom it itches, scratches it.
  • Sjaldan er ein báran stök - There seldom is a single wave.
  • Árinni kennir illur ræðari - A bad rower blames the oar.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Páskar/Easter weekend filled with chocolate, family and friends!


sources: reykjavik.com, westfjords.is, aldrei.is

Header Image Credit: Iceland Monitor 

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