Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Icelandic Yuletide Lads

In Icelandic tradition, there are 13 Yule Lads who are offspring of the giant ogress Gryla and her subservient husband Leppaludi. This large family is supposed to live in a cave somewhere in the mountains and keeps quiet until Christmas approaches. Then the Yuletide lads take their once-a year bath and descend from their mountain home around Christmas. One comes each day beginning on December 12 to play tricks on townfolk. Each lad is named after his mischievious action: Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod) heads directly for the sheep cote to have fun disturbing the sheep. He has stiff peg-legs.

Giljagaur (Gully Gawk) hides in gullies and steals milk from the cow shed.

Stufer (Stubby) is abnormally short and steals pans to eat the crust left in them.

Pvorusleikir ( Spoon Licker) is very lean and steals and licks spoons.
Pottasleikir (Pot Scraper) was a funny sort of chap. When kids were given scrapings, he'd come to the door and tap. And they would rush to see if there was really a guest. Then he hurried to the pot and had a scraping fest.
Huroaskellir (Door Slammer) When people in the twilight would take a little nap, herwas happy as a lark with the havoc he would wreak, slamming doors and hearing the hinges on them squeek.

Askasleikir (Bowl-licker) hides under beds and always arrives late enough to get the food left by children in their bowls.

Skyrgamur (Skyr-Gobbler) thinks of nothing but gormet food and steals skyr (like yogurt) from the larders whenever he gets the opportunity.

Bjugnakraekir (Sausage Snatcher) hides in the rafters and snatches smoking sausages.

Gluggagagaegir (Window Peeper) Looks through windows for things to steal.

Gattabefur (Door Sniffer) has an abnormally large nose and sniffs the doorway of houses for laufabraud (Christmas fried flat bread) .

Ketkrokur (Meat Hook) who likes smoked lamb very much, spares no effert to hook a leg of lamb from the stove through the chimney, although his hook at times is a tiny bit short.

Kertasnikir (Candle Beggar) who likes candle light and never gets enough candles for himself although he snatches quite a few from children.

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