The Holiday Season is here!

While everyone looks forward to the holidays, in Iceland there is also the folklore tradition of the Yule Lads, 13 rascally characters who make their appearance the two weeks leading up to Christmas. These lads, their mother and father plus the Yule Cat live in a dark, gloomy cave somewhere in the highlands, but once a year the lads get to journey one by one into towns and villages. Most of the lads are very hungry after their long walk and search out special foods they know are available at farms and villages (and nowadays also towns and cities). Each lad is especially fond of a particular food, but a few of the lads are also known for more disturbing behaviour, like peeking in windows or slamming doors. It’s customary for a child to leave one of their shoes on or by the windowsill before they go to bed the 13 nights before Christmas. More recently, parents and children leave a little snack for the hungry lads by the shoe and during the night when the lads visit, they in turn leave a little gift in the shoe if the children have been good, or a potato if not! (and of course that probably never happens)...
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