1 Jan · Audur · No Comments


Happy new year everyone 🙂  I just can’t believe Christmas is over…. it has been such a good holidays. But now I’m looking forward to Þrettándinn, the great adventure here on our Island. That is when we are saying goodbye to Christmas and our 13 Santas. This is where all the Santa Clauses, their brothers the trolls and their mom and dad (Grýla and Leppalúði) have some fun with the locals before they leave back to the mountains.


In Iceland, we have thirteen Santa Clauses that live in the mountains with their family and they start to visit town one by one, thirteen days before Christmas. They all give one little present in the shoe, that the children in town have put in their windows. It is just so cute custom and shortens the wait until Christmas.  Sixth of January they leave town, but they don’t leave quietly. I really want to tell you more about that great evening that everybody is waiting for especially the children. For us the adults it is a great show and a great time to spend with families and friends. I’m going to tell you a little how my family enjoys Þrettándinn but the pictures kind of tells the story 🙂

Santa claus

The view that the Santas has over the town 

thirteen Santas

The Santas are preparing to walk down the mountain

In our family, we start with a small family dinner early in the evening and start to prepare the kids for staying out, dressing them in warm clothes. The smallest kids often wear Santa costume, because the Santas like that 🙂 Then we all walk together to the place where the Santas come down from the mountain. It a beautiful sight seeing them all in a straight line up there when they kindle the torch.  They stay up there and wave to the crowd, then they start walking down and meanwhile we watch a big firework show.

Santa claus
13 santas

Now the excitement is starting to build up for the kids because they know that the Santa Clauses are coming down and not only them. The big and scary trolls and their mom and dad are also coming, they are known for eating the naughty kids, the story says 🙂 So a lot of the children are very curious, excited and a little scared.  But the Santas are friendly like always.  Then up the street comes the wagon with the trolls and Grýla and Leppalúði and all the thirteen Santas with their torch.  The music is playing and we walk in a great parade up the street.


The parade continues up the street and on the way visit some more and even bigger trolls.  The parade ends up on an old playing field where the torches from the Santas lights up a bonfire. Then come some more naughty trolls that are running around the field, some are just saying hi to the locals but some are naughty and tease them 🙂

13 Santas

When most of the trolls have entered the field, then the fairies arrive. That used to be my favourite part when I was a little girl, seeing them dancing around in their colourful and shiny clothes.  Maybe they were my favourite because I was always so afraid of the trolls 🙂 and the fairies were so good 🙂


It is just so much fun being out there watching all those creatures, the kids living them self into the fantasy and the Santa Clauses walking around by the bonfire, it is just so magical. The brave kids can enter the field and get to walk around with a Santas.  Everybody’s having so much fun and just watching the kids admiring the trolls even some are a little scared but so excited.

Santa Claus
Santa claus

In the middle of all of that excitement, we have another big firework show. That is just the high peak of the show and afterwards, when the biggest trolls are getting tired and start to leave home, at that time I usually go home to prepare the hot chocolate and the cake buffet that we always have at my house.

Santa claus

It is a big part of the evening meeting, everybody, afterwards and have some cake and hot chocolate after being out there in the cold. Most of the people are at my house that is close to the field and we watch when the wagon drives by and all the Santas walking behind it and waving goodbye.  They are going back home and not coming back until next year.

If you are in Iceland around this time I would try everything to come over to the Island and enjoy the festival with us. It’s something you’ll never forget. I will put down some links about how to get here.  It is not so difficult 🙂

In the winter you can travel to the Island in two ways, the fastest way is by plane from Reykjavík, it only takes about 25 minutes. You can also take the ferry that is 3 hours sail from Þorlákshöfn.

The hotels and guesthouses all have special prices for that weekend here are some links to good hotels and guesthouses.

Here are some great restaurants that you can choose from.




I hope you’ll have a great stay here on the Island, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have more questions.

Category: BLOG, NEWS


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