A Christmas Eva tradition we are adopting for the first time this year is the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, pronounced yo-la-bok-a-flot. (Hear it here.) it means ‘Christmas book flood’ and that’s exactly what it is.
It is the practice of giving books on Christmas Eve and then going to bed and reading them.
The tradition began in Iceland during World War II when imports were hard to come by and paper was relatively inexpensive. The publishing industry did not operate year round, but rather swung into action toward the end of the year, and culminated in the Bokatidindi—a catalogue of every new book published in Iceland, given free of charge to every home in the country. From there, people choose the books they will give their loved ones.
It’s no wonder that book lovers all over the world are looking on and thinking they’d like to get in on that action. That was certainly my response.
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Jolabokaflod: Iceland’s Christmas Eve TraditionTweet
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