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The Yule Lads: A Celebration of Iceland's Christmas Folklore

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Gifts left in shoes, milk disappearing from the fridge, mysterious figures whisking into the shadows...at Christmas time in Iceland this can mean only one thing - the Yule Lads are back in town! Over the centuries the Icelanders have developed a highly unusual set of Yuletide traditions, from the food they eat - smoked lamb, rotten skate and leaf bread - to their colourful Gifts left in shoes, milk disappearing from the fridge, mysterious figures whisking into the shadows...at Christmas time in Iceland this can mean only one thing - the Yule Lads are back in town! Over the centuries the Icelanders have developed a highly unusual set of Yuletide traditions, from the food they eat - smoked lamb, rotten skate and leaf bread - to their colourful folklore featuring the giant troll Gryla, her thirteen rascally sons, and that huge, hungry feline - the Yule Cat. The Yule Lads gives readers of all ages a delightful insight into the history, customs and characters of Christmas in Iceland. Beautifully illustrated hard cover in English.


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Gifts left in shoes, milk disappearing from the fridge, mysterious figures whisking into the shadows...at Christmas time in Iceland this can mean only one thing - the Yule Lads are back in town! Over the centuries the Icelanders have developed a highly unusual set of Yuletide traditions, from the food they eat - smoked lamb, rotten skate and leaf bread - to their colourful Gifts left in shoes, milk disappearing from the fridge, mysterious figures whisking into the shadows...at Christmas time in Iceland this can mean only one thing - the Yule Lads are back in town! Over the centuries the Icelanders have developed a highly unusual set of Yuletide traditions, from the food they eat - smoked lamb, rotten skate and leaf bread - to their colourful folklore featuring the giant troll Gryla, her thirteen rascally sons, and that huge, hungry feline - the Yule Cat. The Yule Lads gives readers of all ages a delightful insight into the history, customs and characters of Christmas in Iceland. Beautifully illustrated hard cover in English.

30 review for The Yule Lads: A Celebration of Iceland's Christmas Folklore

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma Larsson

    Jólasveinar ganga um gólf með gylltan staf í hendi, móðir þeirra sópar gólf og flengir þá með vendi I can't explain how much I love Icelandic lore! Maybe because it's so closely written down and preserved, and at the same time so connected with Old Norse lore, the lore I should know and be close to myself, but isn't since Sweden and Scandinavia has been so much closer to the rest of Europe than Iceland. Ever since I heard that Iceland has thirteen "tomtar" back in 2016 I was hooked, of course, bu Jólasveinar ganga um gólf með gylltan staf í hendi, móðir þeirra sópar gólf og flengir þá með vendi I can't explain how much I love Icelandic lore! Maybe because it's so closely written down and preserved, and at the same time so connected with Old Norse lore, the lore I should know and be close to myself, but isn't since Sweden and Scandinavia has been so much closer to the rest of Europe than Iceland. Ever since I heard that Iceland has thirteen "tomtar" back in 2016 I was hooked, of course, but to get information about them was harder than expected. I went to Iceland in May of 2017 with my then class, and found this book. I found it in Icelandic, I found it in German, and then finally I found it in English! So far it's one of the best few souvenirs that I actually bought while I was there. A lot of information that's easy to understand, complete with beautiful illustrations to get into the exact right mood while reading, with a lot of humour. This book was lovely and makes me crave for more! I want more information, more illustrations, more Iceland!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    My friend from Iceland told me about these fellows who appear, one each night, for the 13 nights before Christmas. They're mischievous beings now, but used to be more fearsome in days long ago. Like all folkloric critters, they've mellowed with age and countless tellings. They're the sons of Gryla the ogress and one of her three husbands. Most of them are concerned with sneaking foods of various sorts from unsuspecting households; a couple, like Door Slammer and Window Peeper, make other mischie My friend from Iceland told me about these fellows who appear, one each night, for the 13 nights before Christmas. They're mischievous beings now, but used to be more fearsome in days long ago. Like all folkloric critters, they've mellowed with age and countless tellings. They're the sons of Gryla the ogress and one of her three husbands. Most of them are concerned with sneaking foods of various sorts from unsuspecting households; a couple, like Door Slammer and Window Peeper, make other mischief, as their names suggest. My favorite, though, is the Yule Cat, who pounces upon children who are unfortunate enough not to have received a new article of clothing for Christmas. Who'd have thought these guys were hanging about, lurking in the shadows? I just love the customs described and illustrated here, and must get myself a copy of this book. Read this around Christmas time for some very different Christmas customs!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra L. Manna

    Very cute summary of Icelandic Christmas (jól) folklore! Rate Procedure: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - I loved the book so much I would reread it again and would recommend to a friend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Thoroughly enjoyed the book, could not put it down, would recommend to a friend, but do not need to read again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Probably a good book that I enjoyed but there was something about it I did not love (e.g. The writing style, the POV, etc.). I would only recommend to a friend if it was their "type" of book. ⭐️⭐️ - A book Very cute summary of Icelandic Christmas (jól) folklore! Rate Procedure: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - I loved the book so much I would reread it again and would recommend to a friend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Thoroughly enjoyed the book, could not put it down, would recommend to a friend, but do not need to read again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Probably a good book that I enjoyed but there was something about it I did not love (e.g. The writing style, the POV, etc.). I would only recommend to a friend if it was their "type" of book. ⭐️⭐️ - A book I have below average feelings for and it would not come with a recommendation from me but I would mention it in conversation if related to the book topic at issue. ⭐️ - I finished the book but I hated every second of it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Couldn't find any books specifically about the Yule Cat, except this one that mentions him. Couldn't find any books specifically about the Yule Cat, except this one that mentions him.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marybeth

    Its a fun book on the different Yule Lads of Christmas in Iceland. Love the traditions that is held with this. Also being in Iceland for Christmas this book helped understand more about what you see around the city. :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Connie Whitcomb

    The pictures are wonderful. In addition to a story of each Yule Lad, their mother, Gryla, and the Yule Cat, the book imparts interesting tidbits of Icelandic history and culture. The book is informative and amusing; the author has a good sense of humor. Reading this short book is altogether a fun experience.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Thirteen mischievous trolls, each with a specific gift to give at Christmastime, is a tradition I can get behind. A gigantic Yule Cat that eats children if they don't wear new clothing on Christmas Day? Yikes! Gotta love that Icelandic folklore! Thirteen mischievous trolls, each with a specific gift to give at Christmastime, is a tradition I can get behind. A gigantic Yule Cat that eats children if they don't wear new clothing on Christmas Day? Yikes! Gotta love that Icelandic folklore!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    Very interesting and great illustrations!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex I.

    Best book to learn about the different yule lads!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dixie

    Fun!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diana Bustamante

    Folktales from Iceland, pretty scary stuff! Wonderful illustrations. I bought this in Dimmuborgir in 2016.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danice

    Beautifully illustrated book about Icelandic Christmas Folklore.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lori

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nolan Holley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michela

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Wales

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra P

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jami

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kostas Lopsaitis

  21. 4 out of 5

    K.L.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elena

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gwenno Lloyd

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Greaves

  26. 5 out of 5

    Larissa

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eva

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tiah

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