The program I did with Neil McCarthy about the dark Christmas of Iceland will be on BBC World Service today and the next days:
At the darkest time of the year in Iceland scary creatures come out to play. Storyteller Andri Snaer Magnason used to be terrified by his grandmother’s Christmas tales of Gryla the 900-year-old child-eating hagand her 13 troll sons – the Yule Lads – who would come down from the mountains looking for naughty children in the warmth of their homes. These dark lullabies partly hark back to a pre-Christian Christmas when the Norse gods dominated peoples’ lives.
As Iceland opens up to global influences after centuries of isolation, Andri travels from farmstead to lava field to find out how these traditions live on; whether the elves still crash your house to throw a Christmas party or the cows still talk on New Year’s Eve. And what happens when you have to spend Christmas alone, locked inside a suburban furniture showroom?
. To listen to the podcast you can follow this link here on Seriously.