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Iceland Mag

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This year's annual Reykjavík Peace March on December 23 was the largest yet

By Staff

  • Solidarity for world peace Since the 1970s Icelanders have marched for world peace on December 23, the highpoint of the Christmas shopping season in Reykjavík. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below.

The Peace March on December 23 has long since become an important tradition for many Icelanders, a moment of contemplation and calm in the middle of the frantic Christmas preparations and frenzy of the last days before the Christmas festivities finally set in. This year's Peace March was larger than any of the previous marches, according to the organizers. One of the organizers, Ingibjörg Haraldsdóttir, told the local TV station Stöð 2 that the marches tend to be larger when global tensions are running high.

The goal of the march is to urge people to take a break from their everyday stress and Christmas preparation to contemplate the fate of those who are less fortunate and the need to make a better, more peaceful world.

A March in support of disarmament, solidarity and World Peace

"During the first years, when the marches were focusing on nuclear disarmament, and during the Iraq War, the marches were particularly large," the organizer told Stöð 2. The current situation in Syria and the Middle East have reminded people of the need to fight for peace and an end to armed conflict, she argued: "We Icelanders are a peaceful people. We want to fight for peace, and we want to help those who are fleeing wars and conflict globally."

The first Peace March was held in 1979, organized by the Icelandic Peace movement. Since the beginning the march has had as its goal to remind people of the need for world peace, disarmament and solidarity between all humans, irrespective of race, religion or creed. People march from Hlemmur square, down the shopping street Laugavegurinn, carrying candles while singing Christmas songs and hymns.

The Stöð 2 report from the Christmas Peace March offers a small glimpse of the spirit in downtown Reykjavík last night!

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