Friday, December 25, 2015

Jόlabόkaflόd

          I've been out for a while taking my break after Nanowrimo; December is usually known as the month of no writing for me. This month, my blog hasn't been silent as the dead, but it has been quiet. That’s what happens when you get sick, are working overtime and busy with the holiday season, I suppose. Today though, I am not going to complain. It’s Christmas Eve, a holiday for some, though not one I generally celebrate, since I'm not Christian, Catholic or one of the others. For those of you now wondering, I'm Pagan. My personal path is a mix of general paganism (goddess/god worship, heavy focus on the moon and finding life and meaning in all things) and Shinto (specifically worship of Inari).
          However, instead of talking about religion today (we can do that in the comments if you’re so inclined, I suppose), I want to talk about interesting cultural practices. Specifically, one from Iceland that takes place on December 24 every year. They don’t celebrate Christmas Eve up there (or if they do, its done side by side with this other holiday). I am of course talking about Jόlabόkaflόd.
          The word apparently means Christmas Book Flood. Apparently, everyone in Iceland gives each other books and chocolates on the twenty-fourth and then after dinner they each retire to their beds with said awesomeness and read the night away. I find this to be a truly beautiful thing and thus every single gift given out this year consisted of a book and a box of caramel chocolates.
          Of course, they have a different culture up there in Iceland.
          First off, the books they give are not disposable paperbacks, but larger hard covers that you are expected to keep. From the websites I've read, books are not considered disposable items in Iceland and thus they don’t treat them as such. As well, nearly 10% of the population has written a book, though I don't know if that same amount has published. Also, I'm assuming that they don't give cheap chocolate, but expensive stuff, though I don't have any actual information to back that up.
          Still, I am determined to make Jόlabόkaflόd a thing here in Canada. I'll do that the best way I know how... by giving books and chocolate to everyone I know and wishing people a happy one on December 24th which gives me a chance to explain it to them.

          How did you spend your Christmas Eve? If you were reading, what were you reading? For those of you who are wondering I spent my Jόlabόkaflόd in bed reading Spice & Wolf, Vol 15, The Coin of the Sun I by Isuna Hasekura.

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