Yule Lad CANDLE STEALER

 

CANDLE STEALER

(Kertasníkir)


On the night before December 24TH, Candle Stealer, the thirteenth and the last Yule Lad, comes to town. Some people call him Candle Beggar.

During cold dark winters, nothing shone brighter than a light from a candle made of tallow (beef fat). These candles are great to have, especially at Christmas time when Iceland has about 20 hours/day of darkness. See video below on how to make tallow candles.

Candles of this sorts were rare, so it was a big deal to the kids who received a candle at Christmas. It was about the only way to have enough light to enjoy books and other past-time games.

They weren't the only ones who loved these candles. Candle Stealer loved them too, but for a completely different reason. You see, since the candles were made from beef fat, they were edible to Yule Lad trolls. 

Although the candles today aren't made of tallow, Candle Sneaker will still steal your candles and bite into them. He never stops looking and maybe one day he'll get lucky and find one made of tallow.

Haukur Valdimar Pálsson

Candle Stealer returns home on January 6th.


CANDLE BEGGAR - POEM
translation by Hallberg Hallmundsson

The thirteenth was Candle Beggar
- 'twas cold, I believe,
if he was not the last
of the lot on Christmas Eve.

He trailed after the little ones
who, like happy sprites,
ran about the farm with
their fine tallow lights.


The Candle Beggar verse

Candle Beggar loved candlelight
and stole into the farmhouse for a look.
Feasting his eyes on the Christmas candles
and the children carrying them to and fro,
he hid in a corner where nobody saw him
and then snatched a candle for himself.

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