Iceland is the honorary guest of one of the oldest and largest Christmas market in the world, Íslandsstofa reports. The market will feature a special Icelandic Christmas village, where passers-by will be able to feast on Icelandic Christmas delicacies. The market, which is placed in Strasbourg in France, is taking place for the 447th time.
Icelandic Christmas traditions will be the focus, as well as Icelandic Christmas food. Kristján Andri Stefánsson, the Icelandic ambassador in France, opened the Icelandic village and had this to say: "Icelanders place a great emphasis on excellent food at Christmastime, much like the French. It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to introduce Icelandic Christmas food to the citizens of Strasbourg, like hangikjöt, laufabrauð, malt og appelsín and more".
The three delicacies Kristján mentioned feature in most households in Iceland at Christmas time. Hangikjöt is smoked lamb, laufabrauð is deep-fried wafer which is traditionally patterned, and malt og appelsín is a special Christmas blend. Two classic Icelandic soft drinks are made into the blend which is a staple of Icelandic Christmas.
The musicians Svavar Knútur and Sigríður Ósk Kristjánsdóttir performed Icelandic Christmas songs at the Strasbourg Cathedral. More cultural events will take place as well, such as Icelandic choir performances, book readings, as well as the screening of the Icelandic film Hrútar.
The initiative is a joint operation, organized by Íslandsstofa (Promote Iceland), the Icelandic embassy in France, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.