From Iceland — Young Pirates Defy Good Friday Religious Laws

Young Pirates Defy Good Friday Religious Laws

Published May 3, 2017

Young Pirates Defy Good Friday Religious Laws
Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Sara Oskarsson

You might be aware of the fact that Iceland has a national church. This brings with it certain laws that many, if not most, Icelanders consider to be a bit outdated. One of these laws concerns what one may not do during certain Christian holidays; for example, it is illegal to hold “bingo, lotteries, dance concerts and other gatherings” during the Easter holidays and Christmas.

In defiance of this, the skeptic society Vantrú has traditionally held bingo tournaments at Austurvöllur, the public square in front of Parliament. This year, the Young Pirates held their own event.

Not to be outdone by Vantrú, who also participated in the event, the Young Pirates also offered beer, and encouraged others to bring their own alcohol as well. This event was held up at their headquarters in Síðamula.

The law itself dates back at least as far as 1926, but received a more recent update in 1997. In this version of the law, plenty of other stuff is banned during Easter, too. For example, it is actually illegal to operate a gas station over Easter holidays, or to have your restaurant or hotel open during this time. Anyone who ventured out during Easter can attest that the Pirates weren’t alone in flouting this law which, we emphasise, is never actually enforced.

“It’s all well and good to have legally protected holidays,” the Young Pirates wrote in an announcement of the event. “There’s nothing wrong with having one on Easter, but to tell people that they can’t get together and have fun on Good Friday is like saying you can’t eat during Ramadan. We believe the time has come to change Icelandic laws about holidays, let people have fun, play bingo, and things of this nature on holidays.”

As with years past during Good Friday bingo matches, no arrests were made for breaking religious law.

As can be seen from the photos, a great time was had by all.

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