Another Yule Lad, another story of gluttony. Oh boy, aren’t these dudes a little repetitive? This time is Ketkrókur’s (Meat Hook) turn. He comes down from the mountains on December 23, Saint Thorlak’s Day.

Ketkrókur is cunning and resourceful, even for the Lads’ already high standards of cunning and resourcefulness. What Ketkrókur does better than any other is “fishing” the traditional smoked lamb with a hooked pole.

Ketkrókur - Icelandic Yule Lads (December 23rd)

He’s the tallest of the brothers. That cross of troll, elf and human ancestry gave him a very long and rather stiff pair of legs. Legend says he walks as though they were made of wood, and he has to use a long walking stick to be able to walk properly.

His favorite strategy consists in lowering his hook through the kitchen chimney. He can steal heaps of this Icelandic delicacy using this peculiar technique. If you have no chimney is your festive dinner safe then, you’ll ask? I don’t honestly know.


Ketkrókur, sá tólfti,
kunni á ýmsu lag.
-Hann þrammaði í sveitina
á Þorláksmessudag.

Hann krækti sér í tutlu,
þegar kostur var á.
En stundum reyndist stuttur
stauturinn hans þá.


Meat Hooker, the twelfth one,
Knew a thing or two.
-He marched into the country
On St. Thorlak’s Day.

He hooked a bit of meat
Whenever he could.
But often a little short
was at times his staff.

Berglind, Iceland24
December 2015