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Christmas 2024, 2025 and 2026 in Iceland

Christmas in Iceland is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. However, unlike most other parts of the world, Icelanders also get an official holiday on Christmas Eve, too.

202424 DecTueChristmas Eve
25 DecWedChristmas Day
202524 DecWedChristmas Eve
25 DecThuChristmas Day
202624 DecThuChristmas Eve
25 DecFriChristmas Day
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.

Here it is called “Jol” or “Yule”, which word is related to the English term “Yuletide”. The big difference is that Yule includes New Year’s celebrations along with Christmas.

On 23 December, people in Iceland eat a meal with skate as the main dish to celebrate Saint Thorlakur’s Day. They also rush out to finish up their last-minute Christmas shopping!

On 24 December, kids are allowed to open their gifts after dinner starting at 6pm. This is because a new day used to be counted as starting at 6pm instead of 12 midnight in the olden days in Iceland. On 25 December, it is traditional to eat a leg of roasted lamb or a ptarmigan bird. “Leaf bread”, a thinly layered, deep-fried pastry, is also enjoyed.

On the Day after Christmas, Boxing Day, people visit relatives, feast some more, and spend time out on the town dancing.

Previous Years

202324 DecSunChristmas Eve
25 DecMonChristmas Day
202224 DecSatChristmas Eve
25 DecSunChristmas Day