Acclaimed Icelandic poet and author Gerður Kristný journeys into the curious world of Iceland’s Christmas myths.
With not one but thirteen Santa Clauses, troll-like figures who sneak down from the mountains to make mischief at Christmas and a ‘Yule Cat’ who prowls through the snow looking for lazy people to eat, there are myriad fantastical – and sometimes sinister – festive tales indigenous to Iceland.
Creeping down from the mountains one by one over the thirteen nights before Christmas, Iceland’s Jólasveinar, or ‘Yule Lads’ are eccentric characters out to make mischief. From ‘Door Slammer’ to ‘Spoon Licker’, ‘Sausage Swiper’ to ‘Meat Hook’, the Yule Lads – part of Icelandic folklore stretching back centuries – can be mischievous and menacing, stealing from pantries, playing pranks and scaring children.
BBC 3 Radio – Sat 19 Dec 2015