British Legends: The Origin of Albion and the Bloodlust of Albina and Her Sisters

According to British medieval legend and myth, the island now known as Britain was once named Albion after an exiled queen named Albina.

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Top 10 Fun Folklore Activities for Children and Their Grown-ups

The joy of folklore is that it can be discovered and enjoyed at any age! Kate Boughton (@bigsmallfolk) shares some fun activities to get children excited about and involved in different aspects of…

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The Four-Leaf Clover: Druids, Eden, and… Handbags?

Generally, clover represents protection, fertility and abundance, but where does the widespread belief in a four leaf clover’s good luck come from?

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Living at the Edge of the World: Austronesian, German and East Asian Roots of Taiwanese Folklore

closer look at Taiwanese lore reveals the true international, eclectic and intercultural roots of Taiwanese folk culture.

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Old Folktales: The King of the Cats

The story of the 'King of the Cats' can be found in folklore from a number of regions and countries. In this tale, cats appear to have the power to speak to…

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Indian Folklore: In Memory of My Lala Who is No More Now

Here Nalin Verma recalls memories of his uncle, from his childhood growing up in Bihar.

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“Magical Folk”: A Review

Dr. Bob Curran reviews "Magical Folk", a new book edited by Simon Young and Ceri Houlbrook, which explores a range of fairy folklore from across the world.

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The Lessons of Monsters: As Learned from Cultural Demons Krampus and Namahage

Chris Kullstroem delves into the world of monsters, their cultural festivals and scare tourism...

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British Legends: Gogmagog and the Giants of Albion

According to legend, Gogmagog was the last survivor of a mythical race of giants that ruled the island of Albion before the arrival of Brutus of Troy.

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Putting Their Faith in the Fairies: BBC Northern Ireland’s Fascination with the ‘Wee Folk’

Fairies were frequently blamed in Irish culture for events out of the ordinary or scenarios that were difficult to explain. An interest, curiosity, and belief in the fairies also holds an association…

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Wishing on a Star: Angels, Normans, and Pinocchio

The exploration into the origins of common superstitions continues with ‘wishing on a star’.

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Why Werewolves Eat People: Cannibalism in the Werewolf Narrative

The one constant throughout visual and literary representations of the werewolf is the willing – or unwilling – consumption of human flesh. This trope is drawn directly from the ancient origin of…

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What Is a Witch? Defining Witchcraft in the ‘Malleus Maleficarum’

The concept of a witch, that is a practitioner of magic, has been part of western folklore for centuries, yet throughout that time it has been subject to continuous reinterpretations.

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Magic to Heal the ‘Wandering Womb’ in Antiquity

The idea that the womb wandered about the female body was prevalent in antiquity, even after it was disproven by some ancient physicians.

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Archaic Living Religion: Mythology’s Residence in the Dark Hinterland of the Collective Psyche

This piece aims to present the inter-connection between folk tales and myths, and psychology. I then show how this connection is used in psychotherapy and helps towards personal development.

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Rashiecoats: A Traditional Scottish Story

Here is my version of Rashiecoats a traditional Scottish story, about a princess who came from a land of towers near a marshland, a long, long time ago...

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Lived Folklore in the Fairy Census

The Fairy Census: 2014-2017 is a collection of modern fairy sightings. These have been collected through an internet questionnaire via radio, magazines, newspapers and, crucially, social media. Five hundred men, women and…

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The Pit of Ghosts: Exploring the Haunted Mines of Victorian Wales

Welsh miners of the nineteenth century held strong superstitions in supernatural elements, which they believed existed deep in the mines.

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The Countryman Magazine: On Sanctuary, and a Medieval Boy Band…

This month, we're delighted that the wonderful folks over at The Countryman magazine have kindly featured #FolkloreThursday in their January edition! 

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Want to Join the #FolkloreThursday Team?

Since #FolkloreThursday started back in June 2015, we have just grown and grown! We began with the idea that we’d love to create a wondrous folklore community, and we’ve done just that:…

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Italy’s Pagan Santa Claus: The Story of La Befana, the Christmas Witch

Who is la Befana, the Italian Christmas witch?

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New Year Celebrations: Herrings in Bonnets at Hogmanay?

In a strange old custom, the Dundee dressed herring is dressed in a crepe paper skirt and bonnet combination in bright colours, tied to ribbons, and carried through the streets and into…

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On Gifts and Giving: International Folklore Life Hacks for the Christmas Season

It seems valuable lessons can be learned from Ukrainian, Russian, and Ingush folktales. Here are Daria Kulesh’s top tips from folklore.

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Erotic Folktales: The Yule Buck and the Girl

Simon Hughes examines erotic folktales—a less well known, and often censored, area of folklore—and presents a self-translated example from his work.

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Spilled Salt: Bad Luck or Protection Against Dark Side?

The exploration into the origins of common superstitions continues with spilling salt as a bad omen.

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British Legends — The Founding of Britain: Brutus of Troy and the Prophecy of Diana

Brutus of Troy was a legendary Trojan exile who some medieval chroniclers claimed was responsible for the founding of Britain.

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The Nordic Goat of Christmas Past and Present

He used to bleat. Walking upright, a goat the size of a grown man would tramp in from the cold with a sack hanging over his shoulder, bleating.

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An Inuit Folk Tale: The Blind Boy and the Loon

Children's author Angela McAllister presents "The Blind Boy And The Loon", a folk tale from her new book "A World Full of Animal Stories".

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Winter Folklore: The Creatures of Christmas

From the animals that witnessed the Nativity, to the robins on our greetings cards and Santa’s reindeer, the creatures of Christmas truly animate the magic of the festive season.

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British Legends: The Mabinogion – The Dream of Macsen Wledig

The Dream of Macsen Wledig from the Mabinogion tells the story of how the Emperor of Rome experienced a dream in which he travelled to Wales.

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Gallows, Germs, or God: Why is it Bad Luck to Put Shoes on the Table?

According to some, leaving shoes on the table is a harbinger of death. This originates from the practice of honouring fatalities in the mining industry.

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Dog Folklore: Companion Dogs as Seers, Healers, and Fairy Steeds

When considering dog folklore, we generally think of those stories which feature the Grimm, the Gytrash, or other sinister black dogs roaming the moors in the North of England. But there is…

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Curiouser and Curiouser: How the 100 Year Old Cottingley Fairies Hoax Just Got Better

Hidden in plain sight for a century, two recently reappraised Cottingley Fairy photographs bring a whole new dimension to the celebrated hoax.

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Family Folklore: How Stories Make Us Who We Are

In the telling of stories, the ghosts of our families still walk, and create a sense of belonging to a vast network of stories that teach us who we are.

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Peterborough: Folklore from a Neglected Corner of England

The city of Peterborough in the east of England and its surrounding region is one of the few English areas that has not previously benefitted from a thorough study of its folklore.

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Grotesques, Green Men and Glorious Angels

The Church of St Mary and St David in Kilpeck in Herefordshire has been a centre for Christian worship since the 12th century, and today is a place of pilgrimage. 

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Dragon Legends: Myth or Half-Truth?

Dragons play a popular role in legend, Where might their origins have begun, and can we see parallels between them and other creatures, mythical and real?

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Women on a Quest: The Hawaiian Saga of Pele the Volcano Goddess and Hiiaka

The saga of Pele's youngest sister Hiiaka is a heroic quest across the Hawaiian archipelago. It conveys a perspective of women throughout Hawaiian culture.

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Smuggler Legends: Owlers, Woolers & Restless Ghosts

Smuggling. The word has been entwined with romantic delusions and depictions for many years. However, in reality this could not be further from the truth. From concepts of men in fancy clothes…

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This, That and the Other: Folklore of the Three Realms

A lot of folklore is concerned with other realms. Worlds that exist apart, yet overlap or interact to varying degrees. It is this aspect that aligns many features of myth, folklore and…

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