Saturday, 15 December 2018

Iceland Naturally “Christmas is Coming” but be on the look out for the Yule Lads!

Get in the holiday spirit with Iceland Naturally, North America’s leading source for all things Icelandic, by enjoying a spirited reading of the original tale of the Icelandic Yule Lads! The “Christmas is Coming” story, written by the beloved Icelandic poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum, details the arrival of the 13 Yule Lads, or Jólasveinar, mythical creatures who bring gifts and mischief to Icelandic homes during the holiday season.

Watch Iceland Naturally’s video about the famed Icelandic Yule Lads, 13 mythical creatures
that bring gifts and a little mischief - around the holidays. 

Watch the full reading of “Christmas is Coming” here.
Copyright: English translation by Hallberg Hallmundsson © 2018 Árni Blandon. Yule lads illustrations by Tryggvi Magnússon ©.
The unique reading of “Christmas is Coming” by Icelandic actress Erla Skúladóttir in the Árbær Open Air Museum in Reykjavik, is bound to get you in the holiday spirit.
Iceland’s Yule Lads are a staple in the country’s rich historic folklore. It’s believed that during each of the 13 nights leading up to Christmas, one Yule Lad comes down from the mountains to bring children gifts or candy - and sometimes play a few pranks. The Yule Lads each have some pretty unique characteristics, like Skyr Gobbler, who loves traditional Icelandic skyr (like Icelandic Provisions!), and Sausage Swiper, who may take a few of your Christmas meats when he visits.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the Yule Lads arriving on the following dates!

  • December 12 - Sheep-Cote Clod - A true animal lover, he likes to play with and pester the yews in the farmers' sheep sheds.
  • December 13 - Gully Gawk - When he’s not running around Iceland’s majestic gullies, you can find him sneaking into the cowshed and slurping the foam off the milk in the buckets.
  • December 14 - Stubby - He might be small, but his short size doesn't stop him from snatching bits of food left in pots and pans!
  • December 15 - Spoon-Licker - He loves to sneak into the houses and lick the wooden spoons used to scrape the pots.
  • December 16 - Pot-Scraper - Also sometimes called Pot-Licker, he waits patiently to snatch away the unwashed pots to lick the leftover food from the insides!
  • December 17 - Bowl-Licker - In the past, Icelanders ate from wooden bowls that they sometimes kept under the bed. Bowl-Licker would hide under the bed, and if someone put their bowl down, he grabbed it and licked it clean!
  • December 18 - Door-Slammer - He always makes a lot of noise when he walks around, slamming doors and causing a ruckus.
  • December 19 - Skyr-Gobbler - His favourite treat is an Icelandic dairy product called skyr, which is similar to yoghurt. Watch out, or he’ll sneak into your pantry and gobble up all the skyr out of the skyr tub!
  • December 20 - Sausage-Swiper - Few possess the insatiable appetite for sausages as this Yule Lad does!
  • December 21 - Window-Peeper - This Lad is not as greedy as some of his brothers; he just likes to peep through the windows and sneak a peek at all the Christmas presents!
  • December 22 - Doorway-Sniffer - Easily recognized by his big nose, Doorway-Sniffer loves the smell of the cakes and lace bread that are prepared in Iceland around the holidays. He is often guilty of stealing these delicious treats from the kitchen.
  • December 23 - Meat-Hook - He loves all kinds of meat. In the old days, Meat-Hook would lower a long stick through the chimney and snag a smoked leg of lamb hanging from the rafters!
  • December 24 - Candle-Stealer - In the old days, candles were the brightest lights available to the Icelandic people. They were so rare and precious that children longed to have their own candle for Christmas, and poor Candle-Stealer also longed for a candle and would try to steal them for himself!
Which Icelandic Yule Lad Are You Most Like? Take Iceland Naturally’s quiz to find out! After you’ve finished the quiz, fill out the entry form for a chance to win your very own copy of the “Christmas is Coming” book as well as other Icelandic goodies!
The holidays are a very special time in Iceland, and the locals have so many unique traditions, like decorating homes, storefronts and city streets with lights, or jólaljós, to light the darkness of winter. You can learn more about all of Iceland’s Christmas traditions at and with Iceland Naturally’s Digital Advent Calendar.