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The Yule Cat (Jólakötturin)

Country: Iceland

When: Before December 24th

To all those in Iceland, who had neglected their duties and failed to acquire new clothes before Christmas Eve, a terrible retribution was lurking in the snow bound mountains, ready to attack at any moment. First appearing in Medieval Icelandic legends, the first written records appear in the 19th Century, with the gigantic cat described as the pet of the giantess Gryla, (see will appear in a separate post). The legends, as all legends often do, grew out of an actual tradition, where Medieval Icelandic land owners would gift those who worked their lands new clothing and shoes, made from the wool that the workers had processed during the previous autumn. Therefore the retribution to not having worked this wool sufficiently by the time Christmas came, was not only to not have new clothes, but also to be set upon by a huge mythical enraged Yuletide cryptid. 


Image is orginal Inspired by the Christmas mythology and comes on a wooden slice and hung with ribbon, the text of the myth as above is also displayed on the back of the ornament.

The Folklore of Christmas. The Yule Cat

  • Size various: Approximately 4" Height x 4" Width


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