You may very well have heard of a White Christmas—popularised by Bing Crosby in the best-selling single of all time (50 million copies worldwide)—but it is far less likely you are aware of a Red Christmas, or in Icelandic, Rauð jól.

Rauð jól is a purely Icelandic term, the antonym of a White Christmas, referring to December 24th-26th that sees absolutely no snow at all.

This phrase is mostly applicable in the south of Iceland where snowfall is less common, as opposed to the northern territories that see inches, or even feet, of the cold white stuff each year.


See Also: Christmas in Iceland 


The word Rauð does indeed mean the colour Red, though it also holds a historic context, used to describe areas that are empty, devoid of detail and life.

Given that Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, has only seen two days of snow so far this winter, it is looking more and more like a possibility that we will be experiencing a Rauð jól on the 24th.

The northern capital Akureyri, on the other hand, has experienced record snowfall this year, and residents and visitors will be among the lucky few to experience Christmas in all of its wintertime delights.


Do you get snow at Christmas where you live? Have you ever heard of a Red Christmas? What Icelandic words or phrases would you like us to delve into next? Make sure to leave your ideas in the Facebook comments box below.