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  • Héðinn Sveinbjörnsson

The 13 Yule lads in Iceland

The 13 Yule lads in Iceland started descending from the mountain on Sunday 12th of December. They come to town one by one during the last 13 nights before Yule.


They are are the sons of the trolls Grýla and Leppalúði and are a group of 13 mischievous pranksters.

It has been well known that they steal from and harass the population. The Yule lads names are described and conveyed their favorite way of harassing.

Children in Iceland place their shoes on windowsills when they go to sleep at night and the Yule lads leave small gifts behind. If the child has been misbehaving or been disobedient during the day, they might get a rotten potato in the shoe!


Grýla and Leppalúði don´t travel with their sons but are never far away. You better be on your best behavior because Grýla has a vast appetite for mischievous children, and she has a big pot to cook them in. Grýla´s husband, Leppalúði, is lazy and stays mostly in their cave.


Grýla and the Yule lads have a house pet known as the Yule cat. It is huge and vicious, and the saying is that if you do not receive any new clothes to wear before Yule (Christmas Eve) it will eat you!


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