Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Culture

Door Slammer, Stubby and Bowl Licker - introducing the Icelandic Santa Clauses

By Sara McMahon

  • The Icelandic Yule Lads (Jólasveinarnir) are a less-refined Icelandic version of Santa Claus. Photo/Daníel Rúnarsson

It‘s that time of year again, and with it come the thirteen Yule Lads, a mischievous bunch who head down from their mountain dwellings in mid-December.

 

The Icelandic Yule Lads (Jólasveinarnir) are a less-refined Icelandic version of Santa Claus. The thirteen lads are the offspring of two hideously ugly trolls named Grýla and Leppalúði and were portrayed in national folklore as being mischievous pranksters. However, in later years, the Yule Lads have taken on a more amicable role.

Every night from December 12 until Christmas Eve, one Yule Lad will come to town and leave little gifts for well-behaved children who have placed a shoe on the window sill.  Naughty ones will, however, wake up to find a potato in theirs.

Iceland Magazine will introduce each Yule Lad in the days leading up to Christmas – starting next week, when the first lad arrives in town!

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