Christmas, Grýla and what comes with it ...
Christmas has long been a light in the blackest short day in the Arctic. The dark winter days were accompanied by lethargy and sluggishness.
The superstitions and fears of people who were constantly reminded of the existence of mysteries were briefly expressed and a threatening sexual being that no one wanted to meet.
In Iceland, Christmas has been celebrated since the settlement, close to the winter solstice when the sun set its course
higher in the sky with brighter times ahead.
The stories tell of great feasts of rulers who asked neither food nor word of mouth. There is less going on for the little ones' Christmas celebrations in the Middle Ages, and it is certain that it has proven to be less difficult for the less affluent people.
Centuries passed and changes in Icelandic national life were slow and sparse, including Christmas celebrations. The sexual beings of Christmas and New Year ignited a short-lived or long-lasting existence in the minds of superstitious Icelanders.
The famous Grýla carries his head and shoulders over other mischief.
It is mentioned in Snorri Edda and in Sturla Þórðarson's Íslandingasaga
where known verse breaks testify to:
This is where Grýla goes
in the yard above
and has on itself
Grýla, however, was not asked at Christmas until the upper part of the 16th century, cf.
Grýla rode in the yard above
had a tail of fifteen
but in each tail a hundred pods
but in a pod hvoum children twenty.
A priest in Skagafjörður calculated that the flag would draw 30,000 children.
Grýla thus played a major role when it came to raising children. She was named after three thrushes and Leppalúði is the best known of them. They had a generation of offspring and the best known of them were and are Santa Claus.
They plowed with their mother and were often quoted
if children were struggling.
It was not until the 19th century that the reputation of the infamous boys began to wane. Their number was long roaming, either one and eight or thirteen.
Sources tell of 18 boys in Biskupstungur in the second decade of the last century.
The well-known ethnographer Árni Björnsson publishes in his book Saga daganna no more and no less than 77 known names of Santa Claus and maidens.
Many of these names are very informative readings and call for the utmost power of the imagination to dissect them to the core.
Árni has told us Bakkastofubúir, who are particularly interested in the old boys, that even today there are new names for Santa Claus to pop up.
It does not yet see the end on the genome of Grýla and Leppalúðir and now part of the family is hanging on 20 specially chosen light poles here in Eyrarbakki.
SOME OLD BOYS AND ONE SISTER WITH
1. Baggalútur Snæfjallaströnd
2. Grýla Árneshreppur in Strandir
4. Float socks Dýrafjörður
5. Flowering games Mývatnssveit
6. Barn string Mývatnssveit
7. Swell breaker Under the Eyjafjöll mountains
8. Kleinusníkir Vopnafjörður / Dalasýsla
9. Lute River in Skagafjörður
10. Spout Steingrímsfjörður Small and fat
11. Thunderbolts Vopnafjörður / Eyjafjörður
12. Coercive games
13. Cloud arm
14. Tífall Steingrímsfjörður
15. Reykjasvelgur Barðastrandarsýsla
16. Float absorber Local team in Snæfellsnes
17. Faldafeykir Darkness in Hörgárdalur
18. Lung patches Mývatnssveit
20. Cat selection Came from the sea / Eastfjords