The people of northern Iceland have had their travel plans disrupted with a record high snowfall this December. Roads have been shut, flights cancelled and school suspended.

Local actors playing Iceland's infamous Yule Lads drag each other for
Local actors playing Iceland’s infamous Yule Lads drag each other for “the first bath of the year” at the geothermal nature lagoon by Lake Myvatn, north Iceland, Saturday Dec. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)

But for the children of this isolated North Atlantic island nation, the main worry is how the waist-high snow might affect the Icelandic Santa, Stekkjastaur, who comes to town Wednesday.

This photo taken Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, shows letters sent to Santa Claus. Instead of a friendly Santa Claus, children in Iceland enjoy favors from the brothers, who arrive from the mountains 13 days before Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)
This photo taken Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, shows letters sent to Santa Claus. Instead of a friendly Santa Claus, children in Iceland enjoy favors from the brothers, who arrive from the mountains 13 days before Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)

He is one of 13 mischievous troll brothers, called the Yule Lads, who have entertained and also frightened Icelandic children for hundreds of years.

Local actors at the Dimmuborgir lava field in northern Iceland on Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, pose as the Icelandic Yule Lads, a band of mischievous troll brothers that have taken the role of Father Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)
Local actors at the Dimmuborgir lava field in northern Iceland on Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, pose as the Icelandic Yule Lads, a band of mischievous troll brothers that have taken the role of Father Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)
A local actor at the Dimmuborgir lava field in northern Iceland on Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, poses as part of the Icelandic Yule Lads, a band of mischievous troll brothers that have taken the role of Father Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)
A local actor at the Dimmuborgir lava field in northern Iceland on Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, poses as part of the Icelandic Yule Lads, a band of mischievous troll brothers that have taken the role of Father Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)

Instead of a friendly Santa Claus, children in Iceland enjoy favors from the brothers, who arrive from the mountains 13 days before Christmas. They have names like Door-Slammer, Window-Peeper, Meat-Hook, Candle-Stealer.

A local actor at the Dimmuborgir lava field in northern Iceland on Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, posing as the Icelandic Yule Lads, a band of mischievous troll brothers that have taken the role of Father Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)
A local actor at the Dimmuborgir lava field in northern Iceland on Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, posing as the Icelandic Yule Lads, a band of mischievous troll brothers that have taken the role of Father Christmas. (AP Photo/Egill Bjarnason)

To children in the region, their arrival marks the countdown to December 24, when Icelanders celebrate Christmas.

Source: The Associated Press

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