Iceland Ogress Gains Worldwide Attention Skip to content

Iceland Ogress Gains Worldwide Attention

The Icelandic ogress Grýla, who comes down from the mountains at Christmas time in search of naughty children, has garnered international attention in recent days.

gryla_painting_screenshot2The photograph of the painting from the artist’s exhibition on

A photograph of a painting of Grýla by Þrándur Þórarinsson from 2009 was placed on the internet and seen by around 620,000 people in one day. Close to 790,000 have now viewed the photograph.

The text which accompanies the photograph states that according to Icelandic folklore, the ogress eats children who do not behave at Christmas time, reports.

Þrándur is currently holding an exhibition at Gamla Bíó (‘The Old Cinema’), which runs until December 1.

Grýla’s sons are the 13 Yule Lads who come to town 13 days before Christmas to steal food, play tricks on people and nowadays also leave presents behind in children’s shoes.

The ogress is accompanied by the massive Yule Cat, which also has a taste for children—those who don’t get any new pieces of clothing before Christmas fall prey to it.


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