The seasonal scares end on Christmas Eve … Some people buy the Christmas … This means getting new clothing at Christmas is essential in many Icelandic households, lest Jólakötturinn gobble you up for wearing old clothes. In Iceland, Christmas traditions are still preserved. Here are a few other Icelandic Christmas traditions you might be interested to know. The gifts of warm clothing and blankets not only serve to be useful in this cold environment but also protect children from some of the antics of the Yule Cat found in their Christmas folk traditions. Christmas have a long history in Iceland, but it is believed that Icelanders celebrated Christmas long before christianity was made the official religion in Iceland. The Yule Cat or Christmas Cat is the viscious household pet of Grýla, Leppalúði, and the Lads and one of the darker aspects of Christmas folklore in Iceland. The pair have an evil Christmas pet that haunts villages as well, The Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn). The evil Christmas cat Jólakötturinn belongs to a troll witch called Grýla . Pretty much everyone decorates and arguably the most popular Christmas decoration in Iceland (after a Christmas tree) is the Advent light, which is a staple in most Icelandic … Iceland has many great Christmas traditions, but one of the most popular traditions involves the Yule Lads. Figure of the Yule Cat … Ham, smoked lamb and ptarmigan – these 3 main meat dishes are by far the most common and popular Christmas cuisines that every Icelander will eat on Christmas Eve. Here are 13 Icelandic Christmas facts and traditions. Find out all about Icelandic Christmas traditions here. The city comes alive at Christmastime and walking around … As the story goes, the cat said to lurk about in the cold, snowy countryside during Christmas time and eat people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. Christmas starts four weeks before the 24th and ends thirteen days after on January 6. The Christmas Cat of Iceland - a giant terrifying cat that gobbles up children if they're bad At Christmas time in Iceland, families give warm clothing to each member of their household. Though, by far one of the largest and most interesting decorations lies on Lækjartorg: a large statue of the “Yule/Christmas Cat,” Jólakötturinn in Icelandic, completely covered in lights. The pressure of Christmas shopping, meal planning, and holiday travel can cause anxiety for even the sturdiest of souls. I mean, they have a child-eating cat and 13 Santas! This creature roams the countryside and devours anyone who isn’t wearing some new piece of clothing. The Christmas Cat comes from an Icelandic children’s story, part of the giantess Grýla’s household. He is not a nice cat. People were scared this would lead to a full-blown war so it became one of the main topics of the Althing, the old … Grýla and Leppalúði are the parents of the 13 Icelandic yule lads. Where to begin? It is an absolute dream to be visiting the most magical country we’ve ever been to at the most magical time of year. 9 Iceland: The Yule Cat. Most restaurants and hotels offer Christmas buffets during the weekends, where one will find dozens of gourmet dishes including different types of … According to legend, there is a frightening Christmas Cat who stalks the snowy countryside and gobbles up anyone not equipped for the cold and wintery weather. Back in the days the winter in Iceland was usually very long and cold especially when there were only few hours of daylight each day. Although Christmas is generally considered the most joyous of holidays, it does generate its share of stress. Jólakötturinn is the Yule Cat or Christmas Cat. The parents, the mother especially, likes eating naughty children. Christmas is a time to be spent with friends and family but in Iceland, you can’t really go out and have a picnic in December so inside activities are the most popular ones. While our own fascination with fruit cake and socks may be weird enough for some, let us take you around the world to find some of the most bizarre Christmas traditions and lore: Japan: Eats KFC for Christmas; Greenland: Likes to eat raw whale skin and decomposed birds; Wales: Parades the town carrying a horse skull; Ukraine: Decorates trees … Instead of just getting a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, Iceland … Icelanders take their Christmas decorating very seriously. Ellen Scott Tuesday 24 Dec 2019 … Visitors will find many of the Icelandic Christmas traditions amusing and often quite unusual. And there’s a lot to choose from! The Christmas Cat. Some Christmas traditions in Iceland seem like they’re straight out of a horror movie. The origin of the Icelandic Santas is centuries old, and each has its own name, character, and role. Iceland’s infamous Christmas Cat will be on the prowl in Reykjavík this year. Of course, preparations vary from one household to another, and people celebrate differently - so excuse me for any generalisations! What About the Christmas Cat? While it might sound strange outside of Iceland… and also including potatoes prepared in … Iceland has been Christian since the year 1000 (or 999, we‘re not completely sure) Around the turn of the millennium there was a lot of conflict between the old Norse faith and the new Christian faith. TOP 10 Icelandic Christmas foods & drinks: #1. You should learn about Iceland's Christmas traditions. Jolabokaflod is the Icelandic tradition of reading books on Christmas Eve – and we should all be doing it . Where to Find The Yule Lads and Christmas Trolls If you fancy visiting the Yule Lads, their parents, and the Christmas cat in Iceland you can head to the north of the country to Dimmuborgir. Atli Harðarson, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0. Jolabokaflod has a rich history in Iceland, dating back to World War II when paper was one of the only commodities not rationed. In Iceland, we have a troop of thirteen gift-giving pranksters known as the Yule Lads who each act as a pseudo-Santa Claus. Iceland: The Christmas Cat. Also, on this day, putting up the Christmas tree is a tradition in most Icelandic families. If you live in Iceland, you have more than these relatively-mundane things to put you on edge.Icelandic Christmas traditions are … One of the most tenacious Christmas traditions of the Advent is the Christmas buffet. Even the family pet gets in on the action in Iceland’s holiday legends. This cat is owned by the parents of Iceland's 13 santa clauses, Grýla and Leppalúði. Today, the tradition still stands: in late September, a free catalog of Iceland’s newest books called the Bokatidindi hits every home’s … The Christmas cat Jolakötturinn. Like them, the cat likes to feast on human flesh, but doesn't discriminate against people's age. A Scary Christmas Tradition. According to some stories, it doesn’t target bad children. He might eat you! The ginormous cat’s sole purpose in life is to eat children (and adults, some say) that do not get a new piece of clothing before Christmas. Whether homemade or bought from a local shop, they must be on the table, preferably all month in the run-up to Christmas. Related: 10 Fascinating Wedding Traditions From Around The World. The feline was made famous in a 1932 poem by Icelandic poet … Over the … After visiting Iceland in September a few years ago, one thing that really stood out was the unique Iceland Christmas traditions and stories. So in the beginning the holiday revolved around celebrating the winter solstice … The Cat would show up early Christmas morning or the night after Christmas day. According to an announcement made on the Miðbörg Reykjavíkur Facebook page , the creepy cat—who, per Icelandic Christmas lore, preys on children who don’t receive new clothes for the holiday—has been commemorated with a giant light-up statue that will stand in Lækjartorg in … First of all, "Merry Christmas and a happy New Year" in ... Iceland even has a black Christmas cat that is depicted as an evil cat on the prowl for anybody who is not wearing a piece of newly purchased clothing. While I had known peripherally about the legend of the Christmas Cat–something about it eating children who don’t get new clothes, I didn’t know the full story … Some of the most popular ones are Sörur or Sarah Bernhardt cookies — a macaroon … Even though there were not such Christmas trees in the past as we know today. Without a doubt, the most famous cat in Iceland is the Christmas Cat, or Jólakötturinn. Jólakötturinn is the Icelandic Yule Cat or Christmas Cat. Yes, it devours financially disadvantaged children.This is the kind of message Icelanders like to send out in their folklore: if you do not have the money or means of acquiring new items of clothing before the festival of … Weird Christmas Traditions. These Yule Lads are the sons of a child-eating Giantess, called Grýla (pronounced Grilla) and her lazy husband … There’s the Christmas Cat, a lot of great food, a little bit of truly bad food, way too many fireworks, bonfires, a “book flood,” and an endless amount of Santa Clauses (we call them Yule Lads). Books were shared at Christmas with abundance and extra love, as other gifts were in short supply. Icelanders really go all out in Christmas celebrations. Some of the gifts popular in Iceland are books and warm clothing items and blankets. While the myth can be useful to convince kids that the sweater from grandma is just a good a gift as the toy they might have wished for ("Hey: Grandma saved you from being eaten by the Yule Cat: You owe this sweater your life!") They are the sons of Grýla and Leppalúði, trolls who live in the mountain with the Yule Cat. Jólasmákökur (Christmas Cookies) — no Christmas in Iceland passes without Christmas cookies! An Icelandic Christmas can come across as a little odd to an outsider (or so I’ve been told), but it truly is a magical time. The Yule Cat stalks the streets on Christmas Eve, looking for something to eat. "Basically if you don't get new clothes to wear on Christmas then you run the risk of being eaten by the Christmas cat." It’s famous enough throughout Europe that the Great British Bake Off used leaf bread as a technical challenge during its 2019 Christmas special. And it seems to be a bit of a snob. Since Iceland is a country known for lack of trees, the first Christmas trees were Rowan (mountain ash) and the first similar model of Christmas tree we know today was set up in 1862. The more variety, the better. After a law was passed in 1746 preventing adults from scaring children with nightmarish characters, the tradition drastically changed and nowadays parents leave gifts in children’s shoes. Advent lights. But this cat isn't the cute, friendly, four-legged friend that … Most people start preparing and celebrating on the first day of Advent, 4 Sundays before Christmas Eve. Leppalúði likes to stay at home, sometimes taking care of their many children and always making sure the pot is ready for Grýla to bring home human children to … In Iceland, Christmas is traditionally the time to terrify children with stories of Gryla, a child-eating ogre, and her child-eating offspring, the Yule Lads. In Iceland, there's a special Christmas tradition that involves a very special cat that roams the streets one time per year. This big black Christmas cat (Jólakötturinn) is the pet of evil Grýla and will eat anyone not wearing a new piece of clothing on Christmas Eve. He is not a nice cat… Christmas folklore in Iceland, like its food, language and landscapes, is a bit more extreme than in neighbouring Nordic countries.While Scandinavia has its fill of unique Yuletide traditions (for example, the "Sauna Elf" in Finland) Iceland takes the prize for having the most hair-raising Christmas creatures.. The meat dishes are typically served with side dishes such as peas, corn, cabbage, beans, gravy, jam, etc. The Christmas Cat is said to eat children who do not receive clothing as Christmas presents. A representation of Jólakötturinn in Iceland. Animals are a big part of a lot of the mythology and traditions of many countries. She threatens naughty children because she loves eating them. 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