Mag
Articles
Icelandic Christmas Traditions

Icelandic Christmas Traditions

Published December 7, 2007

Laufabrauð
The making of laufabrauð, or “leaf-bread,” is usually a family-affair taking place early in December. People gather together to cut intricate patterns into this deep-fried, thin flatbread, which is then enjoyed as a tasty snack to accompany any Christmas event or meal.

Hangikjöt
Hangikjöt – literally meaning “hung meat” – is smoked Icelandic lamb which takes its name from the old tradition of smoking food in order to preserve it by hanging it from the rafters of a smoking shed. Hangikjöt is a traditional Christmas meat, often served with potatoes in a sweet white sauce and pickled red cabbage. Mmmm…

Church & Churchbells
The main Christmas celebration in Iceland begins promptly at 18:00 on Christmas Eve, December 24, in keeping with an old Catholic custom. The ringing of the church bells of Reykjavík’s Lutheran Cathedral is broadcast on all major television and radio stations throughout the country, at which point everyone wishes each other a Merry Christmas, and sits down to eat.

Malt & Appelsín
The ultimate Christmas drink, “Christmas Ale” is created by mixing an elusive ratio of Malt and Appelsín orange soda. Although you can now buy this drink premixed, but it’s just as fun to mix it yourself, according to taste.

The Yule Lads
Descended from mountain trolls and with a mother who eats children, Iceland’s thirteen Santas are by far our most bad-ass Christmas legend. Every night for thirteen days leading up to Christmas, children put a shoe in the windowsill and the Santas come down from the mountains one by one, bringing treats each night. Naughty children receive a potato.

Walking Around the Christmas Tree
Walking around the Christmas tree is still a widespread fad at Christmas dances in children’s schools around the country, but the tradition is slowly dying out as a practice in homes. It involves holding hands around the tree and walking repeatedly in circles whilst singing Christmas carols. Hours of fun.

The Christmas Cat
To avoid, as the saying goes, “going to the Christmas cat,” children are required to receive at least one piece of new clothing in time for Christmas each year. Otherwise, the cat will eat them.

Illustration by Bobby Breidholt – www.krotborg.blogspot.com



Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Best Way To Hit 12 Bars In 12 Hours!

by

We at the Grapevine do not encourage people to drink to excess, but if you ever wanted to have 12 drinks at 12 bars in 12 hours, we’ve mapped out the best way to do that! Most bars in Reykjavík have a happy hour, and if you align them in the correct order on a Friday, you can get a dozen in a row. If you give yourself 15–20 minutes to get from place to place, we reckon you should be able to make it. You’ll need to have a friend with you though, as a few places on the

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Ghosts Of Best-Ofs Past

by

Compiling the BEST OF REYKJAVÍK has always been, at best, a half-absurd proposition. As much as we love our city, it is a tiny one, a miniscule one. It is a city that hosts exactly two competitors for the category of ‘best Indian food’, in a country where the Prime Minister ceremoniously and reverently chomped down the first Big Mac served at the island’s first McDonald’s franchise back in ’93 (miss u, cheap cardboard hamburgers and delicious fries). Yet, compiling the BEST OF REYKJAVÍK, half-absurd as the act may be, is always a deeply satisfying endeavour. The best part is:

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Best Of The News

by

In reviewing the past year in news, you will see certain patterns emerge: certain public figures, events and topics that seem to ignite social media and office break room conversations for days, weeks or even months. Arguments are had, alliances are formed, and people are unfriended over these very stories. These are news trends that never really go away; they just change form and come back to pay repeated visits, for better or for worse. Let Grapevine take you back over the past year to savour the delectable banquet that is the very best the news has had to offer.

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Completely Unthinkable

by

As you read this, the State Prosecutor is reviewing the latest findings of a months-long police investigation of the Ministry of the Interior, over a memo on Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos that found itself in the hands of select members of the media last November. This memo impugned Tony’s reputation, with accusations— which later proved false and misleading—at a time when he was facing impending deportation, and the Ministry was facing a protest. So far, those investigations have seemingly confirmed what has long been suspected: the memo originated in the Ministry, that Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Searching For Ido

by

In the summer of 2004, exactly 10 years ago, a tragic accident happened on Laugavegur, Iceland’s most popular hiking trail. Ido Keinan, a young man from Israel, passed away after getting trapped in a vicious storm. Only one kilometre away from the hut in Hrafntinnusker, he died of exposure to the fierce elements. To this day a memorial on the Laugavegur trail reminds hikers of the highlands’ hidden dangers. Friday, June 25, 2004, Ben-Gurion airport, Tel-Aviv—Dressed in a black t-shirt and baggy jeans, Ido Keinan, 25 years of age, says goodbye to his family. He is about to take a

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Raccoons In Iceland: A Sad History

by

As visitors to Iceland will no doubt soon realise, Iceland’s fauna is not particularly diverse. Several attempts have been made to remedy this fact by importing exotic (at least by Icelandic standards) animals to Iceland, but these trials have not been too successful. In the spring of 1932, an enterprising bookbinder named Ársæll Árnason came from Germany bearing a cargo of seven raccoons—to the best of our knowledge the first time raccoons touched Icelandic soil. Ársæll had previously been involved in shipping several young muskoxen to Iceland, all of whom died soon after their arrival in Iceland, a story regular

Show Me More!