The night between the 12th and the 13th of December has held a special place in Viking Age and Medieval Scandinavia. Our pre-Christian sources to this celebration are scarce, and we can only rely on folklore that survived until the present day and that we know was practiced at least by the 13th century – its attributes clearly stemming from far earlier, pagan times.
Julereia – the Yule Riders – led by Lussi in some traditions, this was the night when the creatures of the other worlds would roam the night, and people ought to stay inside.
This is the night when the month of Yule began. And it was also the most dangerous night of the year. A female spirit, a vette, ruled this night, going by the name of Lussi (“Light”). She was the mother and/or queen of the vettir (spirits) and other Huldrefolk (otherwordly beings), as…
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