Friday, January 3, 2020

13 Santas + 1 Cat = 1 Icelandic Christmas.

While on the Circle Tour, the guide shared information with us on the Icelandic Christmas traditions. It is interesting that Iceland has 13 different Santas at this time of the year.  Each Santa has a specific day they bring gifts to put in shoes placed on the window sills beginning on December 11th.  This continues until December 24th.  Each Santa has it's own identity such as the one who steals pans so he can eat crusts on December 14th, or the one who loves to lick bowls and arrives on the 17th.

The other interesting thing about these Santas is they are the off spring of two trolls.  Their mother, Gryla is a smart but evil troll who searches for children who do not behave well the whole year.  She takes them to make a stew out of.  Her husband, Leppaludi, is less smart and definitely quite lazy.  He is her 3rd husband.

Then there is the Christmas cat who is not a very friendly cat because it hunts children who did not receive any new clothing for Christmas.  Once it finds such children, the cat eats them.  You find cats all over the place.  As you can see, there is a huge Christmas cat sculpture out in the middle of the courtyard near the concert center.  It is ferocious looking and found in windows and all over the place.

The cat is also the household pet to the parents of the 13 Santas so that may be why it goes after children to eat them.

Christmas is a very very unique season over here.  In addition to these stories, the city of Reykjavik is decorated with so many lights that everything shines.  On a trip I took (more on that next column) I saw gas stations decorated with lights, cemeteries with crosses decorated in lights, trees stuck here and there covered in lights.

As I said, Christmas is everywhere.  This tree is just outside the Harpa Concert center.  I"m must sure how tall it is but it is quite tall and filled with lights.  

This is what many of the streets look like with Christmas bells hung above the streets.

Finally, even at the docks they have strings of lights strung across the boats tied up at the port behind the Harpa center.  

I hope you enjoyed the quick look at Reykjavik during the holiday season.  I'll share some last photos in the next entry before I move on to more of my usual things.  If you ever get a chance to visit this country do so,  It is so much fun.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment