Icelanders would usually keep their sheep underground in the winter months, so when the sounds of their tormented bleating would echo up into the house, it was a sign Stekkjastaur had found them. How can you persuade your taste buds that liquorice... What's the gay scene like in Iceland? The horrible Icelandic Yule lads were a gruesome bunch of trolls that terrorized children and stole food from hungry peasants around Christmas. In doing so, he robbed families of the key ingredient in the sauces meant to be enjoyed over the festive season, not to mention the traditional Skyr. The reason for his sniffing was also nefarious; he was forever seeking out his favourite meal, the Icelandic delicacy of laufabrauð (‘leaf-bread’). There are some very mean trolls indeed and the best-known one in the history of Iceland is certainly Gryla. Sundagarðar 2  •  104 Reykjavík, Iceland, intriguing mixture of religious practice and traditional folklore, Other Christmas stories are rather bleak in nature. Also on the hunt for an easy morsel was the sixth brother, Askasleikir, although his antics were perhaps the creepiest thus far. While a delight the whole year round, Skyr is a particular treat over Christmas, serving as a refreshment from the number of huge roast meals that usually accompany the holidays. This Christmas troll set out on his nationwide tour of mischief the fifteenth of December each year, to break into the homes of Icelanders and slaver his tongue over their spoons in the hope of a morsel to eat. The Icelandic Yule Lads and Gryla | Iceland's Christmas Trolls, Guide to Iceland | The Story of the Leading Travel Agency of Iceland, Midnight Sun in Iceland + How COVID-19 May Influence Your Chance to Experience It, Top 10 Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland + How COVID-19 Might Impact Your Trip, The Ultimate Guide to Gay Iceland | LGBT+ History, Rights and Culture, Gryla | Mother of the Icelandic Yule Lads. Nowadays during Christmas in Iceland, their function is to come to town bearing gifts and candy (and a prank or two). We spotted a field strewn with large rocks and at least ten colorful wooden álfhól Putrified and smelling intensely ammoniacal, having it stolen before it could be served could be quite the Christmas miracle. In his place Iceland has a small army of Yule lads, trolls and Christmas monsters who ensure that everyone gets into the spirit of the Holidays. Discover a wide range of Mountain Tours Why not join this Mo... What is considered to be the most disgusting Icelandic dish? Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes, depending on how that particular child has behaved on the preceding day. Read on for all you need to know about queer history, Reykjavi... What is the healthy culture in Iceland like? It was also a reminder that the child-eating Grýla had eyes across the country, looking out for miscreants. Like several of the other characters mentioned above, it seems like Gluggagægir’s chilling behaviour was designed as a way to scare children from going outside in the dark winters. In terms of Icelandic Christmas folklore, however, people were not the only ones craving Skyr at this time of year. She shares her mountain cave in north Iceland with an enormous black feline called the Christmas Cat, which also has an appetite for human flesh. The horrible Icelandic Yule lads were a gruesome bunch of trolls that terrorized children and stole food from hungry peasants around Christmas. It is notable for being round, very thin, fried, and decorated with intricate patterns, usually leaves. Similar to Window-Peeper and Door-Slammer, the idea of him creeping into a home to cause mayhem haunted the nightmares of Iceland’s children. Huldufólk are elves or hidden people in Icelandic folklore and Icelanders believe they are everywhere. The first of the Yule Lads to leave the mountains to stir up trouble across Iceland was Stekkjastaur, or ‘Sheep-Cote Clod’. Christmas traditions in Iceland are an inseparable part of Icelandic history. Merriment aside, institutions such as the National Museum view Grýla as an essential part of Iceland’s cultural history, one that can be easily forgotten about with all those baubles and “yo ho ho”s. The relationship between Grýla and Leppalúði is also a classic trope in Icelandic folklore. From the 12th of December to the 24th, however, they depart one by one to engage in thirteen days of mischief. We will skip the last – and least important - category. We won’t elaborate but yeah, Iceland wet nuts fusing together Christmas and paganism. Considering the darkness of Iceland’s winters, where there are only four hours of sunlight a day, it takes little imagination to picture the fear children must have felt passing the windows of their homes on Christmas nights, terrified that this fearsome troll was looking in upon them. Collecting them up in a sack, she then cooks them in a pot and turns them into a giant stew that will sustain her until the next winter. The more brutal delivery of this message is likely due to the fact that winters in Iceland were incredibly dangerous, and many disobedient children who went out in the dark and snow never returned home. The traditions surrounding Grýla say a lot about Icelandic folklore. Sign up for our monthly newsletter on all things Icelandic. Even thought they've undergone a transformation, the Yule Lad's original trademark looks and behaviour tell a wealth of information about Icelandic history, culture and folklore, and they are a great example of how festive traditions differ around the world. There’s a troll mum and dad, Grýla and Leppalúði, who live in the mountains. In spite of being a fearsome troll, Stekkjastaur, like many of his brothers, was limited by a deformity. Bowl Licker: He steals bowls of food from under the bed (back in the old days, Icelanders used to … Sometimes, they get eaten. One can indulge in perfectly cooked poultry, nut-roasts, mince pies, gingerbread men, cinnamon rolls and all manner of other treats. The 23rd of December, when he was said to set out, is Saint Thorlak’s day (Þorláksmessa), on which it is tradition to have fermented skate fish for dinner. From the 14th to the 26th of December, his appetite was insatiable. How do you sleep during the... Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls, but which are the best ones? Full of elves, trolls, and “hidden people,” the folk tales of Iceland are made all the more fascinating because a majority of the population of 300,000 actually believes in them.. Go on just about any tour in Iceland, and you'll likely hear at least one story that involves elves or trolls. Which mountains are the most beautiful mountains in Iceland, where are they located and what kind of mountains can you find in Iceland? This big black Christmas cat (Jólakötturinn) is the pet of evil Grýla and will eat anyone not wearing a new piece of clothing on Christmas Eve. No one is watching to see that all good children get presents. Pottaskefill, known in English as ‘Pot-Scraper’, is like many of his brothers … Iceland's 13 Trolls of Christmas In Iceland, there is no Santa Claus. Some Icelanders also eat ptarmigan, a small bird hunted for game in Iceland, and reindeer for Christmas but those are usually not sold in stores but hunted with a license. 5 out of 5 stars (6) 6 reviews $ 3.99. These thirteen brothers, who are direct descendants of trolls, live in dark deep caves in the mountains along with their ogre parents—their mother Grýla and their father Leppalúði—and the child-devouring Yule Cat. Smoked fish and lamb are popular throughout the year, as well as smoked sausages known in Icelandic as ‘bjúgu’. Each of the Yule Lads is known for a different kind of mischief (for example slamming doors, stealing meat, stealing milk or eating the candles). They don't wear red, and they're not jolly: the 13 Santas who usher in Christmas in Iceland are descendants of trolls and ogres who revel in terrifying young children. They have a little story… involving trolls, of course, as so many Icelandic stories do. Which exercises are popular in Iceland? The stories are directed at children and are used to scare them into good behaviour. Outsiders to Iceland, however, may have found a visit from Ketkrókur a blessing. It’s December 12th and the children of Iceland are about to be visited by the Yule Lads. Some Christmas traditions in Iceland seem like they’re straight out of a horror movie. The Icelandic Christmas period is an intriguing mixture of religious practice and traditional folklore, beginning on 23 Decemberand ending on Epiphany, 6 January. Today, we don't know them as some monsters from the mountains anymore, but as friendly lads that bring small gifts to good children. Christmas: a time for bright lights, warm hearths, presents, family, delicious food, and… abject terror? Evil, mean trolls who like to steal and play tricks on people. We spent most of our time independently exploring Iceland, but when we did venture out with a guide, stories of Iceland elves and trolls were shared to explain many of Iceland’s otherworldly formations. For some impoverished families, they were the only possessions worth anything that they had. No Santa: 13 trolls, a child-eating ogress and a monster cat The Icelandic Christmas period is an intriguing mixture of religious practice and traditional folklore, beginning on 23 Decemberand ending on Epiphany, 6 January. Read on to find out more about Iceland trolls, elves in Iceland, and the hidden people of Iceland! Celebrating Christmas with 13 trolls. Askasleikir’s name in English is ‘Bowl-Licker’. And a quick warning: There are trolls around, so don’t just wander into the night unprepared. The folklore includes both mischievous pranksters who leave gifts during the night and monsters who eat disobedient children. What role does the giantess Grýla play in Icelandic Christmas folklore, and what was the Christmas Cat? A green-clad elf leads around 100 children in a loud caroling chorus as they wait with palpable fear and anticipation for the guest of honour: It is 13 days before Christmas and the first of the Yule Lads is expected. Sometimes, they … Others believe they simply live in an un-identified mountainous area. Unlike other parts of the world where Father Christmas or Saint Nick is the only yuletide icon, Icelandic culture depicts not one but 13 Christmas trolls! Can you... See a selection of wonderful photographs that capture the magic of the Northern Lights throughout Iceland. For example, to make children behave around Christmas time parents didn’t bribe them with shiny gifts but instead told them stories about how trolls would come down from the mountains and go after them if they were bad. Vikings and trolls. The Yuletide-lads are said to "come to town" during the last 13 nights before Christmas. All, however, could take solace in the fact that he was the last, and in thirteen days, he (along with his brothers, mother, and her cat) would be back in the caves in north Iceland, laying dormant until the next Yuletide. This very specific number has to do with the number of Icelandic Jólasveinar (Santa Clauses, if you aren’t keeping up).. Every night until Christmas, a new Yule Lad will visit the window and place a small gift in the shoe. When … In Iceland, naughty children don't just get lumps of coal during the Christmas season. Many villainous couples in sagas and legends were composed of a cruel and bloodthirsty woman with a pathetic, spineless husband. Gáttaþefur, or ‘Doorway Sniffer’, may have come into folklore due to the whistling breaths of the wind creeping through Iceland’s draughty turf houses. Today, their image has largely been sanitised; rather than being depicted as trolls defined by extreme deformities, they now tend to wear the traditional red and white clothes, fluffy beards and wide smiles. How healthy is the Icelandic diet? As foodstuffs were meant to be preserved to last throughout the long winter months, any waste was greatly frowned upon. Pot Licker, the fifth one, was a funny sort of chap. Meet Grýla, the Christmas Troll Who Eats Iceland's Naughtiest Children. Iceland isn't the only country known for a seasonal surge in new book releases; France has a similar trend called Le rentrée littéraire. Grýla would be terrible enough if she worked alone; sadly for Icelandic children, she does not. The earliest written records of the Christmas cat date back to the 19th century, but he seems to be closely related to Scandinavian beliefs in the Christmas goat. Who is celebrated in Iceland at Christmas if not Santa Claus? Family friendly online walking tour This is a family-friendly tour bringing Icelandic Christmas traditions straight to your home, brought to life with exciting stories and Icelandic folklore. Candles were also the only available tool for Icelanders to enjoy their historically favourite pastime of reading, and over Christmas in Iceland, everyone getting together to read is an age-old tradition. Giljagaur, or ‘Gully Gawk’, was the second Icelandic Christmas troll. Although only wealthier Icelanders owned cows, most poorer people historically lived on the farmsteads of the rich, meaning all were affected by this troll’s antics. The children are called the Yule Lads, and they’ve come to resemble an Icelandic version of Santa Claus. His intent was not even to use the candles to enjoy novels and poetry; instead, he sought only to munch on the tallow that the candles were made from. There was also a lot of work that needed to get done before the darkest months set in, requiring extra diligence and effort from all members of the family. An enormous black cat prowls Iceland on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow this simple rule. Throughout the majority of the year, these twisted versions of Santa are thought by many to hide in the daunting lava fortress of Dimmuborgir, located in the Mývatn area of north Iceland. Posts about Iceland Christmas Trolls written by lindsaybkhan. From shop CreaSas. This delicious treat only comes out over Christmas time, and making it is often a cherished family affair, especially in the North. They are mischievous pranksters or at least they were in the past. The country had no mining industry of its own, and such goods had to be imported and were very expensive. But there's something about the thought of beating the arctic temperatures outside by settling in with a big blanket, hot chocolate, your favorite album, and a good book. From the 12th of December until the 26th, his modus operandi was to harass the sheep of any household he came across. Jul 13, 2012 - FactFixx is the ideal destination to get your daily serving of knowledge and to distinguishing the fact from fiction! Unlike his brother, Bjúgnakrækir, who only sought smoked sausages, Ketkrókur was indiscriminate in his tastes. Their arrival brings with it the start of the Christmas season in Iceland. Jul 27, 2016 - Explore Tiny Iceland's board "Elves, Trolls & Yule Lads", followed by 2222 people on Pinterest. But, no Icelandic child is bad around Christmas-time. Our range of … Full of elves, trolls, and “hidden people,” the folk tales of Iceland are made all the more fascinating because a majority of the population of 300,000 actually believes in them.. Go on just about any tour in Iceland, and you'll likely hear at least one story that involves elves or trolls. This giantess is one of the most evil figures of Icelandic folklore, and still told as a horror story to children over the festive season. Scegli tra immagini premium su Christmas In Iceland della migliore qualità. Discover the 13 Santas of Iceland, their mother the Troll Grýla that eats naughty children, and finally the ferocious Christmas Cat. See more ideas about yule, elves, iceland. Today, statues of Grýla can be found around the country, such as in the Akureyri Christmas house and by Fossatún, due to her integral role in Icelandic Christmas traditions. Then again, most of the world does not have Grýla or the Yule Lads, often referred to as the Christmas Trolls. Book your complete trip with the best companies only. 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