On December 19, Skyrgámur (Skyr Gobbler) comes down from the mountains to have his fill of fun. And not fun only!
Skyr Gobbler, the eighth,
was an awful stupid bloke.
He lambasted the skyr tub
till the lid on it broke.
Then he stood there gobbling
- his greed was well known -
until, about to burst,
he would bleat, howl and groan.
Like many of his fellow countrymen, Skyrgámur has the healthy habit of eating skyr. That’s all he does when it’s his turn to pay the yearly visit during the Christmas period. In his fifteen-day stay he devours quantities of skyr to last him for a whole year; he gulps down barrels of it, literally. In past times, skyr was kept in wooden barrels and that’s why good old Skyrgámur is often depicted messing about with them.
They call him stupid, but apart from his lack of temperance Skyrgámur is not that stupid. For those who are wondering, skyr is a low-fat and very high in proteins dairy product, similar to strained yogurt, but much healthier. Thanks to its components, skyr’s nutritional benefits are quite remarkable.
Legends say skyr was discovered by farmers by chance: what would have Skyrgámur done if the chance never occurred? Perhaps he would have enjoyed junk food more or we would nowadays see him instead of Santa Claus on Coca Cola ads.
- Some Icelandic Christmas Folklore pt. X – Bjúgnakrækir AKA Yule Lad No. 9
- Some Icelandic Christmas Folklore pt. IV – Stúfur AKA Yule Lad No. 3
- Some Icelandic Christmas Folklore pt. V – Þvörusleikir AKA Yule Lad No. 4
- Some Icelandic Christmas Folklore pt. VII – Askasleikir AKA Yule Lad No. 6
- Some Icelandic Christmas Folklore pt. XI – Gluggagægir AKA Yule Lad No. 10