Folklorist Presents the Icelandic Yule Skip to content

Folklorist Presents the Icelandic Yule

Head Folklorist at the University of Iceland Terry Gunnell will give a presentation in English today and again on December 22 at the National Museum of Iceland, located in Reykjavík, about the traditional Icelandic Yule.

The presentation is entitled “The Icelandic Yule. An illustrated presentation in English reviewing the beliefs and traditions of Icelandic Christmas past and present, from pagan gods to practical joking Christmas Lads.”

A special Christmas program was launched at the National Museum this week with the opening of the exhibition “Characterization of the Yule Lads” with the installation of a small house where different items are kept, each of them related to the character of a different Yule Lad.

Children are permitted to examine the items, like Bowl Licker’s bowl and Sausage Snatcher’s sausage, and have the opportunity to get to know the Yule Lads and learn about the origin of their names through the objects on display.

The Yule Lads themselves pay the National Museum a visit, one by one in the order in which they come down from the mountains. Their troll parents Grýla and Leppalúdi also show up to tell tales of their naughty sons to the museum’s guests.

The National Museum hosts the traditional treasure hunt “Where is the Christmas Cat?” in which families are invited to participate. The goal is to find small replicas of the infamous cat that are hidden among the relics on display at the museum.

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