Reykjavik: During yuletide, a city of lights

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- December travelers will find this city decked with tiny white lights.

Borg Hotel On weekends, the 30 traditional Icelandic houses of the Reykjavik Museum come to life, with actors donning 19th century garb helping to prepare for Christmas.

Dating from 1820 to 1907, most of the houses were relocated from city streets to the museum in the 1960s and '70s.

Travelers who want to celebrate with the locals can book a holiday tour.

Landnama, a local ecotour operator, holds two-night advent tours on the first three weekends of December. On one of the two nights, participants visit the Actor's Studio, a small theater in the old section of town where a popular theatrical couple who live in the theater introduce them to Icelandic Christmas traditions.

They will demonstrate how to bake the traditional pancake-like Christmas bread, which is carved into snowflake patterns that Icelanders eat with smoked lamb. They will also indulge in a Christmas lamb soup.

Icelandic Santa Clauses will sing for them. (Iceland has 13 Santas, each with his own name and mischievous character.)

The tour is priced at $180 per person and covers dinner and entertainment on Friday night and a city tour on Saturday, including museum entrance fees.

Landnama. Phone: (011) 354 511-3050, Fax: (011) 354 511-3051, Web: www.landnama.is

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