The Yuletide Lads Rise To Christmas Stardom

In Iceland, Santa Claus doesn’t live on the North Pole. He doesn’t come to town on a sleigh guided by flying reindeer. He doesn’t squeeze down chimneys delivering presents, and he doesn’t eat milk and cookies. In fact, in Iceland, there is no Santa Claus. On the contrary, there are thirteen jólasveinar, which translates to “Yuletide lads”. These mischievous country bumpkins live in the mountains and walk to town, one by one for thirteen days leading up to Christmas Eve. In town, they peep into windows, slam doors, gobble up skyr, steal sausages and candles, scrape leftovers from pots, lick bowls and spoons, and harass sheep.

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