From Klapa to Viking Thunder Clap: See Iceland’s World Famous Celebration at Split’s Vestibule

Daniela Rogulj

Fans of Iceland are making their mark in Split. 

If you’re a football fan, then one thing you might remember about Iceland during the 2016 Euros, apart from them advancing to the quarterfinals, is their thunderous ‘Viking clap’. A country of just over 333,000 people, not only was Iceland’s Euro success a reason many football fans adopted the national team as their backup support country, but this famous celebratory clap completely mesmerized football fans that were once only familiar with song and basic choreography.

If you recall, Iceland celebrated their first ever World Cup placement with this world-famous clap as well. And as you may not want to remember, it was Iceland that came first in Croatia’s World Cup qualifying group, forcing Croatia to go on to play in a playoff round. While Croatia ultimately advanced to the tournament, the team does have to face Iceland once again in their World Cup group!

While many football nations tried to impersonate this epic ‘Viking war clap’ throughout the remainder of the Euros, as expected, no one could nail it down nearly as well as the Icelandic fans, and the chant has become the trademark of the Iceland national football team today. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say.

As many of you know, the second round of the European Handball Championship’s group stage will take place tonight between Croatia and Iceland. The game kicks off at 20:30 at Split’s Spaladium Arena. Many Icelandic fans have been parading around Diocletian’s city since Thursday, and it’s fair to say that they’re going into the match against Croatia confident they will overcome the host nation – Iceland did upset Sweden in their opening match of the tournament on Friday, after all. 

And perhaps the only tried and true way to prepare for a match of this size, taking note from the football Euros in 2016 where the tiny nation achieved great success, is with the symbolic ‘Viking clap’. 

Split’s historic Vestibule, which is usually home to Klapa singing and the songs of our great Croatian grandfathers, saw the celebrated clap by a group of Icelandic fans in the city last night.

Perhaps this is the first time the Vestibule has echoed such a thing? 

Take a look below, courtesy of on January 14, 2018.


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