Video: Icelandic Children Celebrate Ash Wednesday Skip to content

Video: Icelandic Children Celebrate Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, Iceland’s answer to Halloween. Many elementary schools give children the day off so that they can dress up in fancy costumes and head downtown to sing for candy at businesses.

Ash Wednesday (öskudagur, in Icelandic) is preceded by Cream Puff Day (or Bun Day; bolludagur) and Bursting Day (sprengidagur), which are all held in relation with lent.

Although Ash Wednesday is not originally an Icelandic tradition, the tradition to hang bags filled with ash on people’s backs without them noticing is uniquely Icelandic.

Spark Design Space in Reykjavík is currently exhibiting ash bags designed by various artists which will be sold for charity.

The IR office gets quite a few visitors on Ash Wednesday; the video was shot by Páll Kjartansson earlier today.

Click here to read more about these traditions.

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