Norwegian Folklore: Asbjørnsen and Moe, the Norwegian Brothers Grimm

If you have heard or read the folktale “The Three Billy-goats Gruff,” you are aware of the existence of Norwegian folklore, and that it deals with trolls.

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‘Folklore’? What do you Mean? And Why?

You’re obviously already interested enough to know what folklore is, right? Yet the more we look at folklore, the less confident we can be about straightforward certainties.

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Want a #FolkloreThursday T-shirt? Coming Soon!

Want a #FolkloreThursday T-shirt? Coming Soon!

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British Legends: Aurelius Ambrosius, Legendary King of the Britons

This is the story of the legendary Aurelius Ambrosius, a King of the Britons in the 5th century AD.

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Illustrated Guide to Updated Fairy Tale Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

How is a gingerbread house tempting if you've gone gluten-free? Who needs pumpkin coaches when there's Uber? It's a question worth considering - how can fairy tales still impart wisdom in these…

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Laughter from Empty Rooms: More Stories my Parents Tell Me

My parents tell me more family stories, this time about haunted houses. But what haunts a house? Ghosts, or fairies?

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Fairies and the Folklore Society: 1878-1945

The great Victorian fairy fascination held its grip over culture into the early 20th century. In the wake of the Cottingley photographs, the dark folkloric sprites had seemingly transformed into benign nursery…

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A Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

I began writing 'Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe: A Treasury of British Folklore' back in April last year.

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From Oracle Ox to Gorse Goddess: Taking Lore Seriously in ‘Folk’

Writers have long retold folk tales just as musicians have reinterpreted folk songs. But when writing Folk, I aimed not to tell old tales but to imbue the world of the novel…

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Easter Folklore: Spring Festivals and Forecasts

With the renewal of the natural world in spring comes the celebration of Easter, when many ancient traditions are still kept alive today.

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A Forest of Folklore: The Easter Egg Tree

Eggs—long symbols of fertility, rebirth, and love—inundate just-budded trees throughout eastern Pennsylvania each spring. While most states celebrate Easter with rabbit figurines, church festivals, and large baskets filled with chocolate gifts, “Easter…

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The King’s Table: Exploring the Storytelling Tradition

#FolkloreThursday's Willow Winsham interviews storyteller Jean Edmiston and her daughter Amanda on their family storytelling tradition, and Jean's new story, "The King's Table".

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Cross Your Fingers – Luck, Lies, & Ladders

The final article in the series exploring common superstitions is ‘fingers crossed.’ Crossing your fingers is a common gesture in English speaking countries for luck or to cover up little white lies,…

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Stories My Parents Tell Me: Bars of Flaming Swords

I asked my parents to tell me about folk beliefs in the Philippines. In the process, I learned some interesting family stories. "Mom, what do you know about the aswang?" My parents…

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British Legends: Treachery, Murder, Lust and Rowena – The Rule of Vortigern

Vortigern was legendary 5th century King of the Britons featured in the work of early British writers such as Gildas, Nennius, Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth and others.

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Folklore Humour: The Funniest #FolkloreThursday Tweets of All Time

Here's a fantastic collection of some of the funnies folklore related humour from over the years of #FolkloreThursday... thanks to everyone featured!

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Exploring Folktales: Achieving Improved Ego Identity and Recovery from Trauma

This piece will present and focus on the benefits of two specific psychotherapeutic tools — archetypal genograms and mythological based art — via which mythology as spirituality can be used as an…

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‘The Lost Words’: In a Nutshell

The Lost Words, written by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by me was published in October of last year by Hamish Hamilton. 

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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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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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