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Beware the Yule Cat

Published: 01/12/2020 By Allan Fuller

Icelandic Christmas folklore depicts mountain-dwelling characters and monsters who come to town during Christmas. The stories are directed at children and are used to scare them into good behaviour. 

The folklore includes both mischievous pranksters who leave gifts during the night and monsters who eat disobedient children. Gryla, a giantess with an appetite for the flesh of mischievous children, who she cooks in a large pot. Her husband, Leppaludi, is lazy and mostly stays at home in their cave.

The Yule Cat is a huge and vicious cat who lurks about the snowy countryside during Christmas time (Yule) and eats people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.