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Norwegian Twelve Nights
Odin is the father of the gods who wears a long blue hooded cloak, has an eight legged horse and is accompanied by a raven. He carries a satchel of bread, staff and has twelve characters. The character for December is Yalka or Jul (pron. YEWL) his month is Jultid a.k.a Yuletide. During the thirteen nights of Yule all the worlds meet in the Middle-Garth, the dead walk freely and people may leave their human selves to become the riders of the oskorei, werewolves, or wights. It is called the Oskoreia or Åsgårdsreia: The Furious Host, The Wild Hunt. They sometimes appear in daylight, but most often they ride during the evenings and nights. They ride on tall horses with rattling bridles on land and water and even through the air. From the back they look hollow as trees. Gudrún Asgard: High Goddess/Guro Rysserova: Horse Tail rides, and her black horse is called Skokse. Her husbands are Sigurd and Odin.

Gifts of food and drink are left out for the 13 jólasveinar: yule men descendants of Gryla the Ogre who bring the harvest. They arrive one each day with gifts starting thirteen days before Christmas and disappear in reverse order, ending on Twelfth Night. Names: Stekkjastaur: Sheep Frightener, Giljagaur: Gully, Stúfur: Stump,Vörusleikir: Ladlelicker, Pottaskefill: Pot-licker, Askasleikir: Bowl-licker, Hurdaskellir: Door-slammer, Skyrgámur: Cheese Gobbler, Bjúgnakrækir: Sausage-grabber, Gluggagægir: Window-peeper, Gáttaefur: Keyholesniffer, Kjötkrókur: Meat-hook, Kertasníkir: Candle-scrounger.

Odin joins groups around the fire, sitting in the background and listening in to hear if they are content or not. He occasionally leaves a gift of bread for the poor. The goddess Gudrún Rysserova of Völsunga saga and her consort Bileygr (Weak-Eyed), Herblindi (Host-Blind), Tvíblindi (Double-Blind), and Helblindi (Death-Blind) whose eyes need to be opened with a hook lead the Yule host. Clans, living and dead, gather as one. Minni memory-toasts, are popular. The twentieth day of Yule or Knut’s Day (January 13) is the end of the festival period. December 23 is Thorlaksmessa, St. Thorlakur’s Day. (4, 11)

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