Most of Iceland shuts down from noon on Christmas Eve until December 27th so that people can spend the holiday with their families.
Icelanders begin their celebration of Christmas at 6PM on Christmas Eve, either with church or family festivities.
The main event on Christmas Eve is Jolabokaflod. This is Iceland’s annual book giving, where family members exchange books as presents. Everyone then spends the rest of the night reading the book that they were given.
Another popular tradition celebrated in Iceland on Christmas Eve is to visit the grave of a loved one and leave a candle or a different kind of light there. Entire graveyards are lit up with candles and lights to show that the loved ones are remembered and missed.