Christmas Cat Arrives in Downtown Reykjavík Skip to content

Christmas Cat Arrives in Downtown Reykjavík

By Jóhann Páll Ástvaldsson

christmas cat
Photo: Photo: Golli. The Christmas Cat in downtown Reykjavík.
Welcome back! The Christmas Cat has arrived in downtown Reykjavík for the second year in a row. Last year, the 5-metre-tall metal cat was put up for the first time in Lækjartorg square. It has proven popular with travellers and locals alike, creating a festive scene in the city centre. The sculpture is six metres wide and lit up by 6,500 LED lights. It is put up by the City of Reykjavík and will remain at Lækjartorg throughout the holiday season.

A Scary Christmas Tradition

The Christmas Cat comes from an Icelandic children’s story, part of the giantess Grýla’s household. Grýla and Leppalúði are the parents of the 13 Icelandic yule lads. The Christmas Cat is said to eat children who do not receive clothing as Christmas presents. The feline was made famous in a 1932 poem by Icelandic poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum. Björk also recorded a popular version of the song in the late 1980s.

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