This Sunday, December 19th, Terry Gunnell, professor of Folkloristics at the University of Iceland, will be holding an illustrated lecture on Icelandic Yuletide traditions in the lecture hall of the National Museum of Iceland. Beginning with Norse mythology, Professor Gunnell will talk about the predecessors of Christian Christmas in Iceland. He will expound upon Yuletide beliefs and rituals based on descriptions from Icelandic sagas and folktales. The origins of the fearful myth of the Grýla troll and the mischievous Christmas elves or jólasveinar will be discussed and certain myths will be placed in the context of their counterparts in neighbouring Nordic countries. Modern-day Christmas practices in Iceland will also be considered.
Although Terry Gunnell has been living and teaching in Iceland for several years, he is originally from England and the lecture will take place in English. The event, which is funded by the English-Speaking Union of Iceland (est. 1918), is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served after the talk.
When: Sunday, December 19th, 13:00
Where: Lecture hall of the National Museum. To view the museum’s location on a city map click here