According to Icelandic folklore, a huge and vicious cat supposedly lurks about the countryside during Christmastime and eats people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. Farmers even threatened their workers to finish processing the autumn wool before Christmas or else the Yule cat would kill and eat them.
If you thought the Easter bunny was a strange myth to promote a religious holiday, then the threat of the Yule cat might not be far behind. One part of a poem about the Yule cat even says this:
You all know the Yule Cat
And that Cat was huge indeed.
People didn’t know where he came from
Or where he went.
He opened his glaring eyes wide,
The two of them glowing bright.
It took a really brave man
To look straight into them.
His whiskers, sharp as bristles,
His back arched up high.
And the claws of his hairy paws
Were a terrible sight.