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In Germany, it’s Santa Claus or the Christkind that bring the presents; in Iceland, the task requires 13 Santa Clauses! From 12th December, the Jólasveinar, 13 Christmas trolls from the mountains, gradually appear until their numbers are complete on 24th December. Children place their shoes in the window so each troll may leave gifts for the well-behaved boys and girls, while the naughty ones are given old potatoes. The Jólasveinar are rather rugged fellows, each has his own personality and their names indicate which tricks they like to play: such as Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod), Þvörusleikir (Spoon Licker), Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage Swiper) or Kertasníkir (Candle Stealer), for example. Then, from 26th December, a troll leaves each day until on the Epiphany, 6th January, no more remain.

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