Jól (Yule)


In pre-Christianization Norse culture, Óðinn has over 200 different names. One of them is Jólnir (Yule-figure), and another one Jólafaðir (Yule-father).

Óðinn also has a long white beard and two ravens, Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory). 

Around the winter solstice, he leads a ghostly procession, Ásríða (Åsgårdsreia, Oskoreia, or The Wild Hunt), across the winter skies, on his 8-legged horse, Sleipnir. Sleipnir is also known to feast on the entrails of Óðinn’s enemies, which gives him a blood covered red snout.

During The Wild Hunt, children leave sugar and hay in their shoes for Sleipnir, by the chimney or window. Óðinn, to thank them, in turn leaves them small gifts. Gifts can also be left to children by Tanngrisnir (teeth-barer) and Tanngnjóstr (teeth grinder), Þórr’s goats.

Around Jól (Yule) time, a ham is also eaten, representing either Sæhrímnir (pig eaten every nigh in Valhöll and brought back to life again the next day), or Gullinbursti (gold mane), the boar of Freyr (Vanir for virility and prosperity).