The Icelandic Yule Lads

9. December 2018

Yule Lads in Iceland are 13 sons of a terrifying ogress named Grýla and Leppalúði, is their father.

The Yule Lads originated from Icelandic folklore and were portrayed as mischievous trolls that would steal food and livestock and harass and scare the children. They are the 13 sons of a terrifying ogress named Grýla and Leppalúði, is their father. They all are said to live in the Icelandic mountains and the 13 yule lads comes down at Christmas time to capture naughty children, her favorite snack.
 
The early stories of the Yule Lads, Grýla and Leppalúði used to scare children into behaving but today they enjoy bringing joy to the children instead of scaring them.
 
The 13 Yule Lads in the order in which they appear in town:
 
Stekkjastaur, Stiff legs or Sheep-Cote Clod, arrives on the night of December 12. He has long, stiff legs and likes to Harasses sheep.
 
 
Giljagaur, Gully Gawk, is the second Yule lad and is known to hide in gullies and waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the cowshed and steal milk.
 
 
Stúfur, Stubby, is extremely short and steals pots and pans to eat the crust left on them. He is actually know to be very kind.
 
Þvörusleikir, Spoon Licker, is the fourth one to arrive.  He is long and thin and loves to steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean.
 
Pottaskefill, Pot Scraper, arrives on the fifth day and he steals unwashed pots, and licks them clean.
Askasleikir, Bowl Licker visits on the 6th day. He hides under beds waiting for someone to put down their "askur" and licks whatever is left in there.
 
 
Hurðaskellir, Door Slammer, shows up in the 7th day. He likes to slam doors, during the night, waking people up.
 
Skyrgámur, Skyr Gobbler loves eating skyr, the Icelandic dairy product, and he sneaks into pantries and eats all the skyr he can find.
 
Bjúgnakrækir, Sausage Swiper, is the 9th yule lad. He hides in the rafters to snatch sausages which are hung up for smoking.
 
 
Gluggagægir, Window Peeper, is the 10th to arrive. He is known to lie outside people’s house, peeking through windows in search of things to steal.
 
Gáttaþefur, Door Sniffer, is number 11 and comes on the night before the 22nd of December. He has a abnormally  large nose to sniff out where people are baking, then steals cakes and cookies.
 
 
Ketkrókur, Meat Hook, is the 12th to arrive. He steals meat, Hangikjöt, using a long hook.
 
 
Kertasníkir, Candle Beggar, is the last one and arrives the night before the 24th of December. He follows children in order to steals candles from them.
 
 
Illustration credit; Brian Pilkington
 
 

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