Friday, December 28, 2007

CALARTS - Happy Holidays!

I was lucky enough to spend the winter holidays in Iceland. On Christmas eve we opened presents and ate a  traditional Iceland dinner. Iceland celebrates the Christmas differently that in the United States.

Most notably, the Icelandic tradition of Christmas has Yule Lads, or jólasveinarnir. These men are Icelandic version of Santa Clause; There are thirteen. All thirteen Santas are sons of vicious mountain trolls Grýla and Leppalúði who steal children from local villages. Their cat, Chrstimas Cat, eats children who wear old clothing after the holidays. The thirteen Santas come out during the holiday season to terrorize the public on their own day:

Stekkjastaur (Sheepfold Stick) – December 12
Giljagaur (Gilly Oaf) – December 13
Stúfur (Shorty) – December 14
Þvörusleikir (Spoon-licker) – December 15
Pottasleikir (Pot-licker) – December 16
Askasleikir (Bowl-licker) – December 17
Hurðaskellir (Door-slammer) – December 18
Skyrgámur (Skyr-glutton) – December 19
Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage-pilfer) – December 20
Gluggagægir (Peeper) – December 21
Gáttaþefur (Sniffer) – December 22
Ketkrókur (Meat-hook) – December 23
Kertasníkir (Candle-beggar) – December 24

Icelandic Christmas Food includes HangikjötLaufabrauð, Hamborgarhryggur, Rjúpa,
Skyr, Harkal, Lutefisk, and Skate.

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