Icelandic superstitions: Part 8 of series

So it is MONDAY, meaning we resume the already-popular The World’s Superstitions series! Today we travel to Europe, oh-so-close of the Arctic circle and grab a list of Icelandic superstitions! If you have any suggestions for future Monday cultural tidbits posts please let me know with a comment below! Any feedback is appreciated!

* Want a little weather forecast? Look at your cows. If they are licking trees, there’s a high chance of rain!

* Moving to a new house? Make sure you do so on a rainy day. Why? According to Icelandic superstitions, doing so will bring you wealth!

* If you are fasting, pay attention to your sneezing. If you sneeze three times before breaking fast on a Sunday, you will get some reward that week! Oh an by the way, if you are sick but also happen to sneeze three times on a Sunday, that means you are getting better and will be healthy soon.

Icelandic superstitions elves

Elf houses near Strandakirkja, Iceland (by Christian Bickel, Wiki Commons)

* Is mingling with elves and other “hidden people” on your bucket list? Then Iceland should be on your travel bucket list as well! Icelandic superstitions say that Hafnarfjordur (second largest port in Iceland) not only recognizes elves as citizens, but they also enjoy civil rights on this town. Gotta head that way next time I visit!

* Pay attention to your pregnant animals in the beginning of winter. Why? If the first calf born during the winter is white, the winter will be a bad one!

* Speaking of seasons, sheep are key weather forecasters. According to Icelandic superstitions, if sheep gnash their teeth during round-up in the autumn, that winter will be harsh. Conversely, if sheep gnash their teeth any other time or season, it still equates awful weather!

* Puerto Ricans have the Chupacabra superstition, Australians have the Bunyip superstition…while Icelanders have the Jólasveinar! Part of Icelandic superstitions since the 17th century, they are the sons of Grýla and Leppalúði, who themselves appeared in the 13th century and were thought to be thieves and children eaters. Yikes!

* There’s more than one mischievous, criminal Yule lad however (according to Icelandic superstitions!). Other examples include Stekkjastaur (harasser of sheep), Gluggagægir (looked through windows for things to steal), Stúfur (steals pans in order to eat the crumbs and crust left), Ketkrókur (meat stealer, using a hook to do so), and Bjúgnakrækir (sausage snatcher, but only if they are smoked!). I’m not sure whether I want to go back to Iceland now with all this knowledge…seems like I was very lucky last time! That or they just don’t like to come out during the winter…

And that shall be all for Icelandic superstitions! Next Monday I shall have a new [surprise] country and its nice list of superstitions! If there is a particular country you would like me to research, tell me in your response so I take it into consideration! (Hint: I will probably write about every country I am provided *wink*)

Previously featured countries:
Puerto Rico

Know any other Icelandic superstitions? Share them in a comment below!

5 thoughts on “Icelandic superstitions: Part 8 of series

  1. Being Icelandic it wouldn’t surprise me if these ‘superstitions’ was part of some awesomely strange ancient icelandic folklore, we have stranger ones then these. But it would be fun to know where you got these from since I have never heard of them myself.


    • haha, I agree with you. In fact, I found and compiled these from some “awesomely strange ancient icelandic folklore” websites I found through Google search 😀 😉 hehe

  2. I can confirm that the last two are actual Icelandic folk lore, but the rest is completely out of the blue. Did you make this up yourself or did some Icelandic troll tell you this during your visit?

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