In 1932 the poem "Jólasveinarnir" was published as a part of the popular poetry book "Jólin Koma" ("Christmas Arrives") by Icelandic poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum with drawings by Tryggvi Magnússon. The poem reintroduced Icelandic society to Icelandic Yuletide folklore and established what is now considered the 'official' thirteen Yule Lads, their personalities and connection to other folkloric characters, ranging from mere pranksters to homicidal monsters who eat children.
The Yule Lads are traditionally said to be the sons of the mountain-dwelling trolls Grýla and Leppalúði. Additionally, the Yule Lads are often depicted with the Yuletide Cat, a beast that, according to folklore, eats children that don't receive new clothes in time for Christmas. Tryggvi Magnússon´s drawings depict the Yule Lads more as peasants wearing late medieval style Icelandic clothing., taking on a more benevolent role. Tryggvi Magnússon´s original drawings for the book Jólin koma are preserved at the National Library since 1989. The Library´s christmas exhitibion is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the publication of "Jólin Koma", held in cooperation with the publishers, Forlagið.
Exhibition in the National LibrarySee more