Jólin Koma (Christmas is Coming)

This tab is dedicated to the 13 Yule Lads based on the poem, Yuletide Lads, by Jóhannes úr Kötlum. All the images are from the Mjolk cartons (jolamjolk.is).

Candle Beggar arrives on Christmas Eve Day, 24 December. In former times, candles were the brightest lights available to people. They were so rare and precious that all children longed to have their very own candle for Christmas. And poor Candle Beggar – well, he also longed for a candle.

Candle Beggar arrives on Christmas Eve Day, 24 December. In former times, candles were the brightest lights available to people. They were so rare and precious that all children longed to have their very own candle for Christmas. And poor Candle Beggar – well, he also longed for a candle.

Kertasníkir (Candle Beggar) comes on Christmas Eve, December 24. In olden times, candle light was the brightest light available. Candles were so rare and precious that it was a treat for children to be given a candle at Christmas. Poor Candle Beggar wants one too but he can’t make up his mind whether to eat them or watch their lovely light.

St. Thorlák's Day, 23 December, is the day of Meat Hook's arrival. Meat Hook was crazy about meat. In the old days he would lower a long stick through the chimney and snag a smoked leg of lamb hanging from the rafters, or a piece of smoked lamb from the pot. In those days the smoked lamb, which is traditional Icelandic Christmas fare, was cooked on St. Thorlák's Day.

St. Thorlák’s Day, 23 December, is the day of Meat Hook’s arrival. Meat Hook was crazy about meat. In the old days he would lower a long stick through the chimney and snag a smoked leg of lamb hanging from the rafters, or a piece of smoked lamb from the pot. In those days the smoked lamb, which is traditional Icelandic Christmas fare, was cooked on St. Thorlák’s Day.

On 23 December, St. Þorlákur’s Day, Ketkrókur (Meat Hook) arrives. He adores all meat. In olden days he would lower a hook down the kitchen chimney and pull up a leg of lamb hanging from a rafter, or a bit of smoked lamb from a pan, as smoked lamb was traditionally cooked on St. Þorlákur’s Day.

Door Sniffer comes to town on 22 December. He is easily recognised by his huge nose. He loved the smell of cakes and lace bread – sometimes called leaf bread – when they were being prepared for Christmas, and always tried to steal one or two.

Door Sniffer comes to town on 22 December. He is easily recognised by his huge nose. He loved the smell of cakes and lace bread – sometimes called leaf bread – when they were being prepared for Christmas, and always tried to steal one or two.

On December 22 Gáttaþefur (Sniffer) comes calling. He has a big nose, and he loves the smell of cakes being baked for Christmas. He often tries to snatch a cake or two for himself.

December 21 is when Window Peeper visits. This Lad was not as greedy as some of his brothers, he just liked to peep through the windows and sometimes nicked the toys that he saw.

December 21 is when Window Peeper visits. This Lad was not as greedy as some of his brothers, he just liked to peep through the windows and sometimes took the toys that he saw inside.

On December 21, Gluggagægir (Peeping Tom) arrives. He is not as greedy as some of his brothers, but awfully nosy, peeping through windows and even stealing toys he likes the look of.

On 20 December we are expecting Sausage Swiper. He loved to eat sausages and stole them whenever he had a chance.

On 20 December we are expecting Sausage Swiper. He loved to eat sausages and stole them whenever he had a chance.

Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage Pilferer) comes on December 20. He loves sausages of all kinds, and steals them whenever he can.

On 19 December we welcome the Yule Lad called Skyr Gobbler. His favourite is an Icelandic dairy product called skyr, which is similar to yogurt. He likes it so much that he used to sneak into the pantry and gobble all the skyr out of the skyr tub.

On 19 December we welcome the Yule Lad called Skyr Gobbler. His favourite is an Icelandic dairy product called skyr, which is similar to yogurt. He likes it so much that he used to sneak into the pantry and gobble all the skyr out of the skyr tub.

The Lad who is expected on December 19 is called Skyrgámur (Curd Glutton), because he loves skyr (milk curd) so much that he sneaks into the pantry and gobbles up all the skyr from the tub there.

Door Slammer comes to town on 18 December. He always made a lot of noise when he walked around, slamming doors and such, so people could hardly get any rest.

Door Slammer comes to town on 18 December. He always made a lot of noise when he walked around, slamming doors and such, so people could hardly get any rest.

Hurðaskellir (Door Slammer) comes on December 18. He is an awfully noisy fellow, who is always slamming doors and keeping people awake.

Bowl Licker comes to town on 17 December. In the past, Icelanders ate from lidded wooden bowls that they sometimes kept under the bed or on the floor. Bowl Licker would hide under the bed, and if someone put their bowl on the floor he grabbed it and licked the inside clean.

Bowl Licker comes to town on 17 December. In the past, Icelanders ate from lidded wooden bowls that they sometimes kept under the bed or on the floor. Bowl Licker would hide under the bed, and if someone put their bowl on the floor he grabbed it and licked the inside clean.

Askasleikir (Bowl Licker) arrives on December 17. He hides under beds, and if someone puts a wooden food-bowl in the floor, he grabs it and licks it clean.

Pot Scraper is expected on 16 December. He is also sometimes called Pot Licker since in the old days he waited to snatch away the pots that had not been washed and licked the food remains from the insides.

Pot Scraper is expected on 16 December. He is also sometimes called Pot Licker since in the old days he waited to snatch away the pots that had not been washed and licked the food remains from the insides.

On December 16, Pottaskefill (Pot Licker) comes visiting. He snatches the unwashed pots from the kitchen and scrapes the insides with his fingers and tongue and leaves them quite clean.

Spoon Licker comes down from the mountains on 15 December. In the past he would sneak into the houses and lick the wooden spoon used to scrape the pots.

Spoon Licker comes down from the mountains on 15 December. In the past he would sneak into the houses and lick the wooden spoon used to scrape the pots.

On December 15, Þvörusleikir (Spoon Licker) comes down from the mountains to steal wooden spoons that have been used for stirring.

The Yule Lad who arrives on 14 December is called Stubby. He is a little, shall we say, vertically challenged. He is also known as Pan Scraper because in the old days he used to try snatching bits of food from the frying pan.

The Yule Lad who arrives on 14 December is called Stubby. He is a little or, vertically challenged. He is also known as Pan Scraper because in the old days he used to try snatching bits of food from the frying pan.

The Lad who arrives on December 14 is Stúfur (Shorty), who, as his name implies, is on the small side. He smacks his lips over the leftovers in the cooking pans, especially if they are burnt or gone bad.

On 13 December it is Gully Gawk's turn. Before milking machines were invented he had a habit of stealing into the cowshed and slurping the foam off the milk in the buckets.

On 13 December it is Gully Gawk’s turn. Before milking machines were invented he had a habit of stealing into the cowshed and slurping the foam off the milk in the buckets.

On December 13 Giljagaur (Gully Oaf) arrives. Before the days of milking machines, he would sneak into the cowshed and skim the froth off the pails of milk.

Sometimes he is also called Sheep-Cote Clod and he used to try to suckle the yews in the farmers' sheep sheds.

Sometimes he is called Sheep-Cote Clod and he used to try to suckle the yews in the farmers’ sheep sheds.

On December 12 the Yuletide Lads begin to come to town. The first to arrive is Stekkjastaur (Stiff Legs) who loves to drink the milk from farmers’ yews but his stiff legs make that very difficult.

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