16 June 2005

The Ultimate Hátið

Tomorrow is the hátið to end all hátiðs, Iceland's independence day, so the town is decking itself out in every way possible. A stroll down Laugarvegar is a festival of red, white and blue bunting hanging from lampposts, draped on the mannequins in shop windows, and wound around jewelry in displays. The male suit-wearing mannequins are sporting Iceland ties and carrying flags, and the leather shop has all their displays swathed in red, white, and blue ribbon. One display even has full-sized portraits of the president, wearing all manner of medals and awards.

Tents are going up near the harbor, and stores and restaurants are stocking up for the weekend ahead. I've seen kegs rolling in to the bars in plentiful numbers, tempting bouquets of pinwheels are appearing in toystore windows, and an oddly high number of bananawagons are zipping through the streets. Didn't know that was one of the things people run out of on festive weekends.

one thing I am curious about is how they celebrate this properly without fireworks, or will they shoot them off into the milky sunrise/sunset light of the post-midnight hour? What is an independence day without fireworks?

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