The Yule Lads

Taking off from our post on The Yule Cat. The Yule Lads as well started as something somewhat mischievous, again this comes from heathen ideas that not every spirit/elf/fairy is ‘good’. This is because nature is not good or evil, it is both, and that is what our nature spirits are, they can be good, they can be naughty, it really depends on their mood. The Yule Lads evolved over time, and eventually softened as Santa became more popular in Iceland, they are now seen more as just assistance or like playful elves.

There are certain days in December that belong to each lad, and they are listed below:

  • Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod)—12th December
    • The first of them was Sheep-Cote Clod. He came stiff as wood to pray upon the farmer’s sheep as far as he could.
  • Giljagaur (Gully Gawk)—13th December
    • The second was Gully Gawk, gray his head, and mien. He snuck into the cow barn from his craggy ravine.
  • Stúfur (Stubby)—14th December
    • Stubby was the third called, a stunted little man, who watched for every chance to whisk off a pan.
  • Þvörusleikir (Spoon Licker)— 15th December
    • The fourth was Spoon Licker; like spindle he was thin. He felt himself in clover when the cook wasn’t in.
  • Pottasleikir (Pot Licker)— 16th December
    • Pot Licker, the fifth one, was a funny sort of chap. When kids were given scrapings, he´d come to the door and tap.
  • Askasleikir (Bowl Licker)— 17th December
    • Bowl Licker, the sixth one, was shockingly ill-bred. From underneath the bedsteads, he stuck his ugly head.
  • Hurðaskellir (Door Slammer)— 18th December
    • The seventh was Door Slammer, a sorry, vulgar chap: When people in the twilight would take a little nap.
  • Skyrgámur (Skyr Gobbler)— 19th December
    • Skyr Gobbler, the eighth, was an awful stupid bloke. He lambasted the skyr tub till the lid on it broke.
  • Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage Swiper)— 20th December
    • The ninth was Sausage Swiper, a shifty pilferer. He climbed up to the rafters and raided food from there.
  • Gluggagægir (Window Peeper)— 21st December
    • The tenth was Window Peeper, a weird little twit, who stepped up to the window and stole a peek through it.
  • Gáttaþefur (Door Sniffer)— 22nd December
    • The eleventh was Door Sniffer, a doltish lad and gross. He never got a cold, yet had a huge, sensitive nose.
  • Ketrókur (Meat Hook)— 23rd December
    • Meat Hook, the twelfth one, his talent would display as soon as he arrived on Saint Thorlak’s Day.
  • Kertasníkir (Candle Beggar)— 24th December
    • The thirteenth was Candle Beggar- ‘Twas cold, I believe, if he was not the last of the lot on Christmas Eve.

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