The advent is halfway through and tonight the first of the 13 Yulelads comes to town to treat Icelandic (well behaved) children with little gifts. Yes, they are 13! and, one by one, they come to town each night from tonight till Christmas Eve. While most countries settle down to have one Santa, we reformed naughty little elves into nice giving creatures.
The Icelandic folklore stories about them were directed at children, to scare them into good behaviour. They look a bit scary!
The original version was about monsters that came to town during Christmas, luckily for us they have converted quite a lot. They live in a cave in the mountains together with their family that includes their mother, Gryla, who has an appetite for mischievous children and her husband, Leppaludi, who mostly stays at home....and the Yulecat is also part of the household.
So tonight the first Yulelad, Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod) comes to town and, to prepare for his coming, all the kids in Iceland put their shoes in the window to accept a gift from him! The gift can be anything from a mandarin to an expensive gadget, depending on the mood - and if the child hasn't behaved, an old, moulded potato waits in the shoe. Needless to say - all Icelandic kids behave very well!
Stay tuned on our Instagram to see what the Yulelads will give the followers every day till Christmas.