The Yule Lads, or Yulemen, (Icelandic: jólasveinarnir or jólasveinar) are characters from Icelandic folklore who in modern times have become the Icelandic version of Santa Claus. There are thirteen of these characters. They put rewards or punishments into shoes placed by children in window sills during the last thirteen nights before Christmas Eve. Every night, one Yuletide lad visits each child, leaving gifts or rotting potatoes, depending on the child’s behavior throughout the year.
Icelandic Name: Kertasníkir
English Translation: Candle-Stealer
Description: Follows children in order to steal their candles (which in those days were made of tallow and thus edible).