Grýlukerti

An exploration of the rocks of Cook’s Crags on Easby Moor. And lots of icicles in the overhangs. The Icelandic word for icicle is grýlukerti which literally translates as Grýla’s candle. Grýla was an ogress who lived a cave in the mountains with her thirteen boys. At Christmas, she would come down to the villages and kidnap unruly children which she would take back to her cave to eat. Her children, the thirteen jólasveinar or “Christmas Lads” also come down one at a time in the thirteen days leading up to Christmas and either leave presents in children’s shoes if they have been good or potatoes if they haven’t. We are well into March now so perhaps this folktale is not appropriate but it’s amazing how fascinating icicles are to children of all societies with many distinctive local names. “Ickle”, “tankle” and “shuckle” are northern names for icicles, from Yorkshire, Durham and Cumbria while Somerset has “clinkerbell” and Kent “aquabob”. Icicle in Welsh translates as pibonwy or cloch iâ, an ice bell.
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