I t´s always good sport to poke fun at other nations for their weird beliefs or customs. At least it has been towards Iceland and Icelanders throughout and for good reasons too.
Yup, we´re pretty weird over here all things considered. Weird customs abound (rotten shark), weird people everywhere (Björk), weird laws (it was perfectly legal to kill Basques until very recently) and weird beliefs of course (elves and trolls).
On that note we give you a few more local tidbits to chew about with your friends. Which is, we believe, the very best advertising for the country.
In Iceland you now find astounding array of good and great micro- and macro-breweries all over the country in spite of beer being totally illegal in the country until 1989. Hard liquor on the other hand very available.
Glued to TV
In Iceland it is a custom for people on New Years Eve to sit down for an hour to a special yearly comedy program on state television. As many as 99% of the population watch the show and streets are usually completely empty during that time.
In Iceland one in ten people has published a book of some sort. More authors per head than anywhere else in the world.
Until death do us apart
In Iceland the divorce rate is among the highest in the world. Up to 38 per cent of marriages end on a sour note.
In Iceland the day of Epiphany marks not only a Christian feast but also the day when elves and hidden peoples go house swapping. Or stone-swapping in this case. Photographic evidence of this is nonexistent
Close but no cigar
In Iceland the national soccer team was one game away from securing a spot among the best at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. A loss against Croatia in the very last game prevented Iceland from becoming the smallest nation ever to participate in the World Cup.
In Iceland the capital is Reykjavik but it actually has a namesake in Reykjavik in Manitoba in Canada.
Cruel to be kind
The thirteen Santa´s of Iceland always arrive with their favorite pet for Christmas. The pet is a giant ferocious cat with a fashion conscience and probably the only one that eats human babies if they do not dress up to scratch at Christmastime. Dress nicely.