Children’s Teeth and the Mice That Take Them

When I was a child I knew that every time I lost a tooth, the tooth mouse (or tandemuis) would come and swap my baby teeth for cold hard cash.

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The Tooth Fairy: Buying Teeth Since 1900

Who is the Tooth Fairy, and where did she come from?

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The Meadow Dandelion, a Chippewa Folktale

Storyteller Amanda Edmiston retells a First Nations folktale, from the Chippewa people, that originally appeared in a book she recalls reading as a child.

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The Clarke Charm Collection: Of Witch Bottles, Witch Cakes and Hag Stones

Clarke’s charm collection reveals a range of uses, including cures for sore throats, the protection of seafarers from drowning, and good luck charms.

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Fighting Magic With Magic in Italy: The Good Walkers

The Benandanti were a surprising third party in the fight of good versus evil in Medieval Italy; one that not even the Holy Inquisition could make sense of.

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Gifted by Second Sight

Second Sight is a perplexing subject, both respected and feared in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. For some who possess it, it can seem like a curse.

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Five Reasons Fig Trees Are Folklore Royalty

No plants feature so often in folklore, in so many places, as fig trees. There’s a biological basis to many of these stories.

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The Cretan Labyrinth – Myth, History, and Archaeology

The labyrinth has a long history. Depictions in rock art may date back as far as 10,500-4800 BCE. But the most famous labyrinth is that of ancient Crete.

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The Seal Children: Sealskins and Soulskins. Or, When We Were Migrants

The first story that I found in this land where I live was The Seal Children, and as we walk the path to Maes Y Mynydd where the story is set, my…

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Spring-heeled Jack: The Terror of Victorian England

In 1838, the year Queen Victoria came to the throne, London was bedevilled by a clawed, fire-breathing, shape-shifting demon popularly known as Spring-heeled Jack. A rather haphazard creation of local gossip, newspaper…

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Ghosts and Apparitions in Punch Cartoons

From figures of power to figures of fun, ghosts and apparitions changed dramatically in Punch cartoons over the course of two centuries.

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Spring in Southeast Asia: Diasporic Chinese New Year Folklore

Here are a couple of folklore and stories associated with Chinese New Year. I have grown up with these stories as they are part of tradition and culture.

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13 Indispensable Online Folklore Books – for Free!

Exploring the vast realm of folklore has never been easier with the tools available in the digital world of libraries, museum collections and social media.

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Unravelling the Sexual Mystique of Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty has an allure that is undeniable. Her story has retained a place in our traditions. Time has reshaped her dilemma and salvation.

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A Thousand Years Before Tolkien: The Original Evil Magic Ring

An evil magic ring, associated with dwarf and dragon – what a great idea Tolkien had for his books! But he actually borrowed it from ancient Viking legends…

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From Thor to Twitter: Flyting and the Norse Tradition of Insulting Your Enemies

One of the main tactics the Norse gods employed in their struggles, aside from outright trickery and brute force, was trading verbal insults.

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Black Arts and Talismans: Huw Llwyd, the Real Welsh Wizard

Huw Llwyd, the Welsh wizard, has been immortalised in the folklore and fairy tales of Wales, his fantastic exploits told and re-told down the ages.

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Fairy Folklore: The Unchanging Appeal of Changelings

The notion of fairy changelings, whilst dating back centuries, in many ways feels like a modern concept. That a human might be stolen away by the little folk and replaced with a…

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Redwings and Bramblings: A Gap in the Lore of Our Winter Migrant Birds

Each autumn thousands of migrant redwings, fieldfares and bramblings visit the UK from their Scandinavian breeding grounds

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What is First-footing and Can It Improve Your Year?

First-footing as a New Year custom is most common in Scotland and the north of England, but it does have regional, and international, variations.

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Kissing under the Mistletoe? Not in Medieval Herefordshire

Mistletoe is the stuff of folklore. It is found in Norse, Greek and Roman mythology, a plant of power and magic.

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Merry Christmas & Seasons Greetings from #FolkloreThursday!

What a year it’s been! The end of 2016 is nigh, and it’s hard to believe all of the amazing things that have happened over the last twelve months. To name but…

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Folklore of Food: Traditional Christmas Food

Food and feasting is at the centre of our Christmas celebrations, and folklore and customs play an important part in what we eat.

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Christmas Superstitions: A Festive Survival Guide

Many will declare Christmas to be nothing but “a way for card companies to make money, harrumph!” Whilst Christmas has been heavily commercialised, in recent years especially, the traditions of this time…

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Íslensku Jólasveinarnir: the Yule Lads of Iceland

On the evening of 11th December, Icelandic children place shoes on the sills of their windows, before they go to bed.

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Open the Door and Let Us In: Mummers at Midwinter

The appearance of a Turkish knight, Beelzebub, and a horse’s skull mark out a centuries old winter tradition in rural communities across Britain.

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Midwinter Celebrations: Yule, Saturnalia, and Christmas Folklore

Christmas traditions have evolved through the centuries, many of them have ancient origins linked to the midwinter festivals of Yule and Saturnalia

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Krampus: The Christmas Devil of Alpine Folklore?

Beware! Lock up your children, clutch your mince pies, and huddle in against the snow. Haven’t you heard? Krampus is coming to town …

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A Witchy Interview with #FolkloreThursday’s Willow Winsham

@DeeDeeChainey interviews @WillowWinsham about her book, Accused: British Witches Throughout History

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Old Tails in New Bottles: Folklore’s Influence on Pulp Fiction Werewolves

Werewolves are considered to be a traditional monster in the twenty-first-century popular culture.

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An Introduction to Academic Folklore Studies

Academic folklore studies—or folkloristics—is a field of scholarship devoted to the classification, documentation, and interpretation of folklore and folklife.

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Il Gatto Mammone: The Italian Legend of the Cat King (Or Cat Demon?)

The Gatto Mammone is an influent folktale that very few people remember.

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Kent Galleries: Depicting Classical Mythology in Art

David Kent is a British artist captivated by mythology, and from this have sprung a wonderful series of paintings: the Mythology Collection.

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The Bunyip: Australia’s Mysterious Man-eating Swamp Beast

Folklore is filled with tales of man-eating beasties and Australia is no exception, home to the dreaded Bunyip.

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Folklore Gift Ideas for Christmas

We've started our Christmas shopping early here at #FolkloreThursday, and we thought we'd share some of the wonderful folkloric gifts we've come across on the way!

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Slavic Mythology of Zmaj and Vila: Dragons, Nymphs and Legendary Monsters

Serbian storytelling tradition is among the oldest and richest in Europe.

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Welsh Folklore: Significance of the Maentwrog Standing Stone

The tales surrounding this, rather unassuming, standing-stone are taller than the stone itself.

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Toil and Trouble? The Goddess Hekate in Ancient Greece

Hekate: goddess of witchcraft, ghosts and the restless dead, frequently represented as a triple deity, associated with dogs, crossroads and flaming torches.

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Halloween Folklore and Superstitions

We all know that Halloween, as a festival, is not an invention of the trick-or-treating Americans but it is far older than many people realise.

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Tales from the Medieval Crypt: Walking Corpses, Devils and Haunted Shoemakers in Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium

De Nugis Curialium is a strange book in which history, religious debate and court satire are interwoven with a tangle of mythology, folklore and eerie supernatural tales.

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