Christmas Creatures and Lighting of Christmas Trees Skip to content

Christmas Creatures and Lighting of Christmas Trees

Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr launched “Christmas Creatures of Reykjavík” on Thursday in the city center, a special project designed for the City of Reykjavík by Hafsteinn Júlíusson.


Illustrations of the Christmas Creatures by Gunnar Karlsson. A cut-out of the Christmas map. Source:

Decorations now adorn the capital, which got its first dusting of snow this week, and the Christmas tree on Austurvöllur square, an annual gift from Oslo, will be lit tomorrow, the First Sunday in Advent, at 4 pm reports.

In Akureyri, north Iceland, the festivities begin today when the lights of the Christmas tree on the town square will be lit; the program begins at 2:50 pm. A choir will perform and a few Yule Lads, Icelandic Santas, will entertain attendees.

Various events will take place during the pre-Christmas season in Akureyri as part of the town’s Advent Adventure, including concerts, book readings, Christmas markets, an outdoor Christmas dance and more. For further information go to

As for the “Christmas Creatures”, the aim of the project is to create an inspiring experience in the capital during the holiday season through promoting Icelandic folklore and connecting locals and visitors in Reykjavík through stories and conversations, as described on

Icelandic folklore includes many Christmas creatures, among them the 13 Yule Lads, who are sons of ogre couple Grýla and Leppalúði, and the Christmas Cat. They live in the mountains but come to town during Advent and perform all sorts of mischief.

Seven Christmas creatures will be located around the Reykjavík city centre and in Laugardalur valley for the next few weeks.

Each creature has its dedicated area and appears in the form of images projected onto different buildings in the city.

Grýla, the ogress mother of the Yule Lads, will, for example, make herself comfortable on a rooftop on Bankastræti 11 in the city centre.

Each creature is accompanied by a sign explaining its characteristics. Digital snow will also be projected onto buildings in the city, for example the Dómkirkjan cathedral at Austurvöllur square.

Attractions in Laugardalur will offer a cozy atmosphere in the run-up to Christmas with decorations, music, refreshments and events suiting the season, such as a special exhibition and happenings related to the Christmas Cat in the Reykjavík Family Park and Zoo.

Enthusiastic locals and visitors can take part in the “Hunt for the Christmas Creatures” competition by locating all of these strange beings around town and answering relevant questions about them on a special Christmas map for a chance to win a prize.

Click here for more information on Reykjavík in December.


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