The 13 Yule Lads of Iceland by Brian Pilkington
The Icelandic Yule Lads - December 12 (Advent Calendar)
Christmas in Iceland with the Yule Lads
Sweden Scotland View Details. Starting on the 12th of December, the Yule Lads come one by one in the nighttime to Icelandic homes, where they leave a little gift in well-behaved children's shoes placed on the windowsills. Naughty kids get a potato! But these troll-beings weren't always benevolent gift givers; that came only with the popularisation of Santa Claus. Each Yule Lad is listed in order of the night he visits:.
Icelandic Christmas folklore depicts mountain-dwelling characters and monsters who come to town during Christmas. The stories are directed at children and are used to scare them into good behaviour. The folklore includes both mischievous pranksters who leave gifts during the night and monsters who eat disobedient children. The figures are depicted as living together as a family in a cave and include:. These Christmas-related folk tales first appear around the 17th century and display some variation based on region and age. In modern times these characters have taken on a slightly more benevolent role. The first mention of the Yule Lads can be found in the 17th-century poem, Poem of Gryla.
Icelandic children get to enjoy the favors on not one but 13 Father Christmases. Called the Yule Lads , these merry but mischievous fellows take turns visiting kids on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. On each of those nights, children place one of their shoes on the windowsill. For good boys and girls, the Yule Lad will leave candy. If not, the Yule Lads are not subtle in expressing their disapproval: they fill the shoe with rotting potatoes. Don't think well-behaved Icelandic kids have a sweet deal all around, however.
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