Events 2021

Bowl Licker

  • 17.12.2021, 11:00 - 11:30, The Photo Gallery - National Museum of Iceland Suðurgata 41

Bowl Licker comes to town on 17 December. In the past, Icelanders ate from lidded wooden bowls that they sometimes kept under the bed or on the floor. Bowl Licker would hide under the bed, and if someone put their bowl on the floor he grabbed it and licked the inside clean. Please note that all attendees, born 2015 and before, must present either a negative rapid antigen test or a negative PCR test taken no longer than 48 hours in advance, from a certified test center. Note that self-tests are not accepted. Attendees can also present a proof of a recent COVID-19 infection (no younger than 14 days and no older than 180 days). Admission ticket is needed.

The Yule Lads visit the National Museum from the 12th of December until 24th, daily at 11am. They wear their old Icelandic costumes and sing and tell children (and adults) stories.

Bowl Licker, the sixth one,
was shockingly ill bred.
From underneath the bedsteads
he stuck his ugly head.

And when the bowls were left
to be licked by dog or cat,
he snatched them for himself

- he was sure good at that!

The Icelandic jólasveinar (Yuletide Lads) have little connection with the international red-clothed Santa Claus. The Yuletide Lads are descended from trolls, and orginally they were bogeymen who were used to scare children. During this century they have mellowed, and they sometimes wear their best, red, suits. But they still tend to pilfer and play tricks. They are the sons of two of the most hideous ogres ever known in Iceland, Grýla and Leppalúði.