01 January 2009

Veuve and rockets

New years in Iceland remains one of the most exuberant places to start things off with a bang. S and I returned from Germany in time to do it right, landing in the midst of the preliminary experimental explosions that are part of the dark days between Christmas and the 6th of January.

But first, I had to sing in the gamlárskvöld mass in the church, an enthusiastic and relaxed service that ended with a flurry of kisses and hugs. Then we all assembled to drink a champagne toast, to sing the beautiful Icelandic national anthem (for the uninitiated, it's a four-part hymn that's sung infrequently, not at all like the American anthem that opens every baseball game), and then to explode a few fireworks while we all stood outside and sang some more.

We then went to a party of people that have been meeting every few months for parties that are always excellent- good food, interesting people, lots of conversation, and a perfect location just below Hallgrimskirkja. At midnight we all went out into the street while S and G took on the duties of firemasters. We exploded cakes, we exploded rockets, popped confetti bottles, lit whizzing pinwheels, waved sparklers, and generally created the experience of the American Revolution by clogging the street in a haze of gunpowder. All around us, the fizz of launching rockets exploded overhead as we worked through the boxes.

And then, when we all got cold enough, back inside for more food, more champagne, and more conviviality. Iceland hasn't lost the spirit at all, and with an arrival like that, I can't help but feel like good things are still to come.


tsduff said...

You never fail to revive the sagging spirits.

Happy New Year E :)

Sean said...

Hello and Happy New Year to you as well. I have one question. Will you be posting any photos of the fireworks celebrations? I visited Reykjavik a few years ago and stayed around Hallgrimskirkja. It would be fun to see what it looks like with people celebrating the holiday. Take care.

malmo58 said...

Happy New Year! Best wishes for '09. Love, Jess xx

ECS said...

tsduff: and a happy one to you as well!

Sean: I wasn't in a place for photos and have experienced in previous years that taking photos distracts me from the experience of the fireworks since I'm so busy looking through the viewfinder. I know there are lots on flickr and on the net in general though. It's hard to really capture the experience in a photo though.

malmo58: likewise to you!