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Terri Mapes

13 Santas in Iceland

By December 1, 2008

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Travelers to Mývatn in northeast Iceland can meet the 13 Icelandic yule lads, taste Icelandic Christmas specialties and bathe in the Mývatn Nature Baths. The town invites visitors to take part in a program called Welcome to Mývatn, the Magical Land of Christmas, organized by project Snow Magic, which features the infamous 13 yule lads, the Icelandic Santa Clauses. Children unable to visit the Icelandic Santas can send letters to them instead.

All letters addressed to “Santa Claus, Iceland” are forwarded to Santa World in Mývatn, and all letters are replied to. Letters from the santas can also be ordered online, on www.santaworld.is.

Snow Magic is a joint project between Iceland, Finland, and Sweden. It was launched by the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) to increase cooperation on cultural projects in northern territories. For more information, visit www.snowmagic.is.

December 14, 2007 at 3:50 pm
(1) Ashlynn Rohrbacher says:

What are thier names and what do they do? Are they impontant and when do they come?

December 14, 2007 at 6:21 pm
(2) Jonas says:

The tradition comes from the story of Gryla and Leppaludi and their 13 sons:

Gryla and Leppaludi were frightening creatures (they are said to be dead), and had a reputation for snitching and eating children who are naughty.

When stories about the Jolasveinar first appeared, they were frightening creatures just like their parents. Over the years, they have become milder, gentler creatures and know just plain fun to be around.

The Icelandic Christmas boys come one by one, and start arriving 13 days before Christmas. Each one would do their best to cause minor havoc on Christmas preparations.

May 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm
(3) Dylan says:

What were the santas believed to look like or know to do?

December 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm
(4) poop says:

why 13 santas! why not 1 or 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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