If ever there was needed an objective measure of how popular Halloween is becoming in Iceland, consider the Pumpkin Index. RÚV reports that pumpkins have been selling out all across the country.
Pumpkins used to be a fairly uncommon vegetable in Iceland, usually only found at high-end grocery stores like Hagkaup. That has changed in recent years, as shops such as Krónan, Bónus and Fjarðarkaup have begun selling them as well. Even so, these stores are selling out of pumpkins at numerous locations, as supply struggles to keep up with demand.
“We have already doubled our order of pumpkins from last year,” Sævar Óli Ólafsson, the purchasing manager for Samkaup, told reporters. “Pumpkins are now in most of our stores, and more will be coming today and tomorrow.” Samkaup oversees many different grocery stores, including Nettó, Kjörbúðin, Krambúð, Samkaup Úrval and Samkaup Strax.
The popularity of Halloween in Iceland is curious, considering they already have a holiday where kids dress in costumes and ask people for candy, Öskudagur, but this is held on Ash Wednesday. Further, these children typically only visit places of business to ask for candy, and even then, they must sing in order to get it.
Icelanders do have an affinity for all things spooky, though, so that likely plays a part in Halloween’s growing popularity.