A sculpture of Grýla and her Yule lad son Skyrgámur at the Keflavik International Airport

My deepest sympathies go out to the children ofIceland. While many Christmas celebrations around the world are full of tidings of comfort, joy, and rampant consumerism, for youngIcelanders it is a time of terror where you are lucky to escape with your life. That appears to be the case according to this fascinating folklore.

Grla, a giant part-troll, part- animal creature who lives in the Dimmuburgir mountains and comes down at Christmas to look for naughty children to abduct, is the first thing we are going to discuss. She cooks them in a cauldron for herself and her third husband to enjoy until the following winter. Grla can be seen in depictions throughout the country, but sometimes she looks more like an old woman than a monster. Here is a description that indicates why she inspire fear.

Grla had three hundred heads, six eyes in each head, and two blue eyes at the back of her neck. Her ears were so long that they joined the ends of her three hundred noses. There was hair on each head and a beard on each chin. Her teeth were badly damaged. She had hoofs like a horse and a sack that she used to carry children in. She had fifteen tails, a hundred bags of skin, and twenty children in each bag.

Grla is grabbing up to 2,000 naughty children at a time, which is either a good sign or a bad sign. Grla can only capture children who behave but those who repent must be released, according to the official tourism site for the country.

Grla found love on three different occasions. Some legends say that the first two were eaten, murdered, or died of old age, while others say they died in which way. Grla does all the work of kidnapping and cooking children while her husband is a troll. They definitely have chemistry. 13 of the couple's 33 children are called the Yule Lads.

The Yule Lads are not murderers. Each of the 13 days leading up to Christmas, one of the brothers will come to the house and do something unpleasant. They have very evocative names. They are, indeed.

The sheep-cote Clod is referred to as the Sheep-cote Clod.

He found the ewes and drank the milk from their teats.

The Gully Gawk is located in Giljagaur.

When the milkmaid looked away, Giljagaur waited for a chance to sneak into the cowshed to slurp the foam off the fresh milk. My words are not the words of the travel company.

Stubby is also known as Stfur.

They are not all milk lovers. Stfur is going to come to town on December 14.

The spoon licker is called vrusleikir.

The Yule Lads like to clean their dishes manually. On December 15th, you can guess what vrusleikir gets up to.

Pot scraper.

For December 16 as well.

The bowl Licker is calledAskasleikir.

The guys leave you with troll spit. Bowls get licked on December 17th.

The door slammer is called Huraskellir.

On December 18th, when Huraskellir comes by in the middle of the night, your cookware and utensils will be safe.

Skyrgmur is also known as Skyr Gobbler.

The Yule Lads look at food after the doors are slammed. Skyr Gobbler stole people's skyr on December 19

There is a Sausage Swiper.

He will arrive December 20. He hides in the rafters of your house while he waits to steal the sausages.

There is a window peeper.

Despite the English meaning of the word "peeper," Gluggaggir is just looking in windows for stuff to steal. That is on you if you were standing in front of your window without a shirt.

The door sniffer is called Gttaefur.

Gttaefur is the most upsettingly named Yule Lad on this list, but he is one of the most benign.

There is a meat hook.

We are back to meat stealing. On December 23, Gttaefur goes to your rook and lowers a hook down your chimney to try and get some meat to cook.

TheKertasnkir is a candle beggar.

Kertasnkir arrives on Christmas Eve and wants to take out some candles.

If a child leaves their shoes out on the windowsill, the Yule Lads will give them a treat. Grla will likely kill them and eat them before they get a chance to find the rotting potato.

Grla is not the only murderer in the country. Grla has a cat named Jlaktturinn who is black as night and towers over houses. He prowls the town and will eat anyone who doesn't get a Christmas gift. Jhannes r Ktlum wrote a poem about the folklore of the Yule Cat in 1932 and it became famous. This was recorded by a pop star from the island. The most popular translation of the poem on the internet is this one.

If outside one heard a weak “meow”

Then unluck was sure to happen

All knew he hunted men

And didn’t want mice

He followed the poorer people

Who didn’t get any new clothing

Near Christmas - and tried and lived

In poorest conditions

From them he took at the same time

All their Christmas food

And ate them also themselves

If he could

Therefore the women competed

To rock and sow and spin

And knitted colorful clothes

Or one little sock

I think it's brutal. The silver lining is that the Yule Cat isn't just a killer of the poor, but a reminder to give to those in need. The poem goes on.

If she still exists I don’t know

But for nothing would be his trip

If everybody would get next Christmas

Some new rag

You may want to keep it in mind

To help if there is need

For somewhere there might be children

Who get nothing at all

Mayhaps that looking for those who suffer

From lack of plentiful lights

Will give you a happy season

And Merry Christmas

Everyone have a merry Christmas! Sorry, Iceland.

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