The country has 13 Santa Clauss

Unlike in other countries, Icelanders believe that there are 13 Santa Clauss.

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People all over the world are too familiar with the image of Santa wearing a red shirt, white beard, and reindeer riding. In Iceland, Santa Claus isn't like that. Those are the Yule Lads, there are 13 in total. They are siblings, children of two terrifying giants Grýla and Leppalúði. According to legend, in the past, 13 Yule Lads was just as cruel and mean as his parents. They steal the people's belongings, make fun of children.

Over time, they became more benevolent and became happy people. Today, people in Iceland believe that the Yule Lads will give gifts to good kids in a shoe on the window shelf at night. On the contrary, spoiled children will only receive one potato.

Family of 13 Santa Clauss in Iceland. According to legend, Grýla and Leppalúði will capture the spoiled children and the giant couple's cat Yule will eat the people without new clothes on Christmas Eve. Photo: Iceland with a View

The 13 Santa Claus will take turns down the mountain and arrive in towns 13 days before Christmas. These delightful and gluttonous Santa Clauss are named after their traits, or their favorite food or job.

The first Santa who descends from the mountain on December 12 every year is called Stekkjastaur, who likes sheep's milk but is clumsy and frightens the sheep. The second person down the mountain on December 13 is Giljagaur, who likes milk foam, climbs, and makes noise.

On December 14, Stúfur, the youngest of 13 Santa Clauss, descended from the mountain. He eats a lot because he wants to be as tall as his brothers and never knows when to stop eating. Down the mountain on December 15 was Þvörusleikir - he was extremely tall and thin, and liked to clean the food from his spoon.

Then, on December 16, Pottasleikir descended the mountain. In addition to giving gifts to children, he likes to lick leftovers from unwashed pots, leaving a shiny pot for the homeowner.

Askasleikir was the sixth person who came down from the mountain on December 17, loves to steal everyone's bowls and eat up everything left. Hurðaskellir descended from the mountain on December 18. This Santa is noisy, loves to slam doors and make loud noises.

The Yule Lads descended from the mountain. Photo: Living Planet Blog

On December 19, Skyrgamur liked to eat the traditional Icelandic yogurt skyr, being the eighth person to give gifts. Bjúgnakrækir, descended from the mountain on December 20, always had a full belly. He likes to climb and eat hot dogs.

On December 21, Gluggaggir descended from the mountain, liked to peek through the window to find something sweet and steal, like biscuits, candy ... The eleventh person was Gáttaþefur, with a giant nose to detect laufbraud - deep-fried, crispy Icelandic bread.

On December 23, Ketkrókur - a glutton who descended from the mountain, was always hungry and liked to eat bacon until he got sick. The last one, Kertasníkir, descended from the mountain on December 24, liked to watch the flames of candles, so stole them anywhere.

Then, 13 Santa Claus left and returned to the mountain one by one. Christmas is not over until the last person goes home, that is, January 6 of the following year. Therefore, it can be said that the Christmas atmosphere of Iceland is quite long.

The Icelandic people believe in the existence of Yule Lads that there is a place that reminds them of them. It's the Dimmuborgir lava maze in Northern Iceland. People believe that this is the refuge of this family of 13 Santa Claus.

During Christmas Eve, Icelandic children search for Yule Lads by playing mini games. Parents of Icelandic children often joke that they do not have time to rest when they have to prepare up to 13 gifts per night to help their children believe this legend.

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