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It’s jolabokaflod time!

first_imgHere we are finally stepping into the holiday season after a pandemic year. This year has been all of the kind, filled with fear, loss, overcoming and fighting the worst of times. Yet finally with a very grateful heart, we step into the last month of the locked-down year. Well, it is December and we have a heart full of excitement for Christmas. It’s arriving and like every year Christmas is a time we wait for the year to reach its end and we wear the merriness for a joyous year ending and all set to welcome a new year to our lives.The festival of Christmas comes with different traditions from across the world, guaranteed to put our spirits to the best holiday moods. Well from starting with a weird yet yummy tradition of feasting with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken during Christmas in Japan to Hiding of brooms on the Christmas eve in Norway, to prevent it from being stolen by witches, Christmas eve has many interesting traditions from across the world.Recently, while I was carrying out my own research about Christmas traditions across the world, the tradition that caught my interest is Iceland’s Christmas eve book tradition. Well yes! getting to know about this holiday tradition was a true bliss and thanks to the internet, which introduced me to this beautiful tradition of Iceland, being a literature lover, this tradition of gifting books on Christmas eve, known as Jolabokaflod has been my most favourite one.  Iceland is a country of no mosquitoes also hubs many great readers with a high literacy rate.The people of this beautiful Nordic country traditionally exchange books as Christmas gifts and spend their holiday night reading. Isn’t it beautifully cosy? This is one of the many reasons why Iceland is one of the favourite tourist spots in the world. Debbie Nevins, Zawaih Abdul Latif, Jonathan Wilcox in the book  Cultures of the world Iceland writes “Iceland is often called the “land of fire and ice”.Iceland is indeed a land of glaciers and active volcanoes. It’s also a lively country on an island that straddles the geologic divide between North America and Europe. Historically and culturally however it has its roots firmly in Europe.”Jolabokaflod, which translates into “Christmas book flood” begun during the Second World War. It was when every other thing except the paper was rationed in Iceland. Which is the reason behind why Icelanders exchanged books as Christmas presents which have turned the be3autiful country into a land of book lovers. In the year 2013 Bifrost University conducted a study which stated that 50% of Iceland’s population reads at least eight books a year.Jolabokaflod.org states that “during the festive season, gifts are opened on 24 December and by tradition, everyone reads the books they have been given straight away, often while drinking hot chocolate or alcohol-free Christmas ale called jolabland.”The Christmas book flood or the Jolabokaflod is a tradition which is much needed to be a part of our cultural imperialism process. What more beautiful can be a tradition that encourages people to read and keeps the book reading habit and culture alive. As Barack Obama very truly said, “ Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.” So let us all indulge in this tradition of reading to be added to our celebrations.last_img read more

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