Wednesday, May 24, 2017
“One of the oldest Icelandic folk traditions- if not the oldest- is that connected with the figure of Grýla, the hideously ugly, ever-ravenous mother of the Icelandic Jólasveinar
(Christmas Lads) In modern day Iceland, Grýla is well-known to all young children. Along with the dreaded jólaköttur (Christmas Cat). She annually strikes terror in the hearts of under-six year olds every Christmas when she descends from the mountains in search of badly behaved children to eat. Despite the recent efforts of certain parties to east the fears of the young by prematurely announcing Grýla’s death in a popular Christmas song, the ancient ogress seems to hang on interminably in folk memory. She has lived over eight hundred yeas, and, quite understandably, is not so easily persuaded to give up the ghost”
(2001). Arv: Nordic Yearbook of Folklore, Vol. 57.
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