What is Yule lads ?
The Yule Lads (also known as the Icelandic Yule Lads, or Jólasveinarnir in Icelandic) are a group of 13 mischievous characters from Icelandic folklore who are said to visit children during the Christmas season. According to tradition, the Yule Lads leave small gifts or treats in the shoes of well-behaved children, while misbehaving children may receive a potato instead.
Here is a list of the names of the 13 Yule Lads:
- Sheep-Cote Clod: This Yule Lad is known for stealing sheep.
- Gully Gawk: This Yule Lad is known for stealing milk.
- Stubby: This Yule Lad is known for being short and stocky.
- Spoon Licker: This Yule Lad is known for licking spoons.
- Pot Scraper: This Yule Lad is known for stealing leftover food from pots.
- Bowl Licker: This Yule Lad is known for licking bowls.
- Door Slammer: This Yule Lad is known for slamming doors late at night.
- Skyr Gobbler: This Yule Lad is known for stealing and eating skyr, a type of Icelandic yogurt.
- Sausage Swiper: This Yule Lad is known for stealing sausages.
- Window Peeper: This Yule Lad is known for peering into windows.
- Door Sniffer: This Yule Lad is known for sniffing around doors, looking for food.
- Meat Hook: This Yule Lad is known for stealing meat using a hook.
- Candle Beggar: This Yule Lad is known for begging for candles.
Each Yule Lad has a distinct personality and name, and is associated with a particular mischievous deed. For example, “Sheep-Cote Clod,” the first Yule Lad, is known for stealing sheep, while “Door-Slammer,” the eighth Yule Lad, is known for slamming doors late at night.
Yule Lads Parents
In Icelandic folklore, the Yule Lads are said to be the sons of two giantesses, Grýla and Leppaluoi. Grýla is a fearsome giantess who is known for her immense strength and appetite, as well as her habit of eating misbehaving children. Leppaluoi is Grýla’s third husband, and is described as being lazy and feeble-minded. Their Cat’s name is Jólakötturinn.
According to tradition, Grýla and Leppalúði live in a cave in the mountains, and the Yule Lads are their mischievous offspring. Each year, the Yule Lads leave their mountain home and descend to the villages to visit children during the Christmas season. They are said to leave small gifts or treats in the shoes of well-behaved children, while misbehaving children may receive a potato instead.
Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn)
The Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn in Icelandic) is a creature from Icelandic folklore that is said to roam the countryside during the Christmas season, looking for people who have not received new clothing to wear for the holidays. According to tradition, those who do not receive new clothes will be eaten by the Yule Cat.
The Yule Cat is said to be a large, fierce feline with a voracious appetite, and is often depicted as a giant black cat with glowing eyes. In Icelandic folklore, the Yule Cat was originally said to be a way for farmers to motivate their workers to finish processing their wool before the holiday season, as those who did not finish their work would not receive new clothes in time for Christmas and would be at risk of being eaten by the Yule Cat.
In modern times, the Yule Lads and Yule Cat have become an important part of Icelandic Christmas celebrations, and are often depicted in decorations and children’s stories. They are also a popular tourist attraction in Iceland, with many visitors to the country seeking out the Yule Lads during the holiday season.
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