Mythology & Fiction Explained writes “Today we take a look at 5 festive legends including, Gryla, the Yule Cat, the Yule Lads, Befana and the Kallikantzaros.
From Iceland we have the terrible child eating troll Gryla, her pet cat the Yule Cat which stalks the snowy countryside looking for those who were unfortunate enough to not receive any new clothing during Christmas. Lastly we have her 13 sons, the Yule Lads. Who arrive in town one at a time each night from the December 12th until Christmas Eve. These pranksters wreak havoc and ensure that little peace and rest will be had. In Italy they tell stories of an old woman called Befena who rides a broomstick and delivers presents to children.
In Greece and the Balkans exist the Kallikantzaroi who spend most of the year underground trying to destroy the tree of life. However during the twelves days of Christmas they surface to cause havoc which allows the tree of life time to regenerate.”