Wednesday, December 12, 2007


"Christmas" has really started today in Iceland as last night households were visited by the first Yule Lads: Stekkjastaur. These Yule lads are 13 and are the sons of Grýla and Leppalúði, two mountain-dwelling trolls. Grýla has for "hobby" of looking for kids and put them in a sack that she carries on her back. The couple owns a huge and horrible cat: Jólakötturinn. The cat helps Grýla in her task of picking children. The tradition was that kids with a new article of clothing would be safe and not eaten by Jólakötturinn. Icelandic singer Björk interpreted a song called "Jólakötturinn". You can listen to it on Youtube: here. And I'm going to throw in the lyrics with both Icelandic and English! Lyrics here.

The 13 Yule Lads are naughty characters: they steal your food, slam your doors, peep through your windows, etc... Nowadays, kids leave their shoes by the window. When they wake up in the morning, nice kids will find a present and naughty kids will find... a rotting potato!

  1. Stekkjastaur
  2. Giljagaur
  3. Stúfur
  4. Þvörusleikir
  5. Pottasleikir
  6. Askasleikir
  7. Hurðaskellir
  8. Skyrgámur
  9. Bjúgnakrækir
  10. Gluggagægir
  11. Gáttaþefur
  12. Ketkrókur
  13. Kertasníkir

All pictures are from the Jólamjólk website.

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 2°C

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