The Thirteenth is especially suited for family (or children's) where elf's, ogre's and Santa Clauses (13 in total + parents) are the main numbers of this event. This Festival starts around dinner time where participants gather around a mountain called Háin where they watch the start of the festival, which starts with a bang, where fireworks come streaming from the top of the mountain which is the perfect start of a excellent evening.
After the fireworks the 13 Santa Clauses come marching down with Grýla and Leppalúði (their parents) carrying torches/flares in their hands which can be seen a mile away. When they come down of the mountain, the parade starts with the participants and the Santa Clauses, trolls and all the other figures. The parade gives both young and the elderly the opportunity to chat with the Santa Clauses while walking towards the destination which is a football field. You can see both excitement, enjoyment and a little bit of fear (due to some scary trolls) in the eyes of the younger generation while they walk with the Santa Clauses which have been giving them presents each night, the last 13 days before Christmas. This is an Icelandic tradition where the kids put they're shoe in the window and if the behave well they will receive a gift from one of the 13 Santa Clauses which arrives late at night, but if the kids have been naughty the will receive a old potato and that is not very popular J.
At the football field, there is a big bonfire on a restricted area (which is a big circle) which people gather around and look at all the trolls, Santa Clauses, Grýlu, Leppalúða and also fairies and little demons that entertain themselves and others. The atmosphere is indescribable, Christmas songs come streaming from the speakers and if you are lucky the Santa Clauses might just offer you walk one round with them inside the restricted area. Just to top the evening there is a awesome firework display where big bombs go off and color the sky along with the bonfire, that is how the official program ends but the night is still young and many people take the kids home and go out to continue the celebrations in friends houses where hot chocolate and something stronger is on the table.
The Thirteenth is truly a family event that lets now one down, for the younger generation that is experiencing this for the first time, is like taking the kids to Disney World where the experience all kinds of creatures that all are stranger then each other and some of them are very scary, but this is something that everyone has to try at least one time on their path of life.