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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Dark Folklore: The Hand of Glory in Folk Magic

We’ve all heard of the infamous hand of glory, the hand of a dead man, hung for his crimes, and it’s often said that it could be used to open any lock.

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Five Legendary Islands from Folklore

Hy-Brasil, Buyan, Saint Brendan’s Isle, the Island of Antillia, and the Isle of Avalon are five fabled islands that were once believed to have existed by many people through the ages.

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A Brief History of Trolls

Trolls come in many shapes and sizes. No one description can fit them all. Is there a core of Trollness which we can uncover?

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Telling Tales to Children

There are two main challenges to retelling folklore, myths and legends for children: making the story suitable and fun for the child audience (listeners or readers); and being as faithful and sensitive…

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The Folklore of Eggs: Their Mystical, Powerful Symbolism

For millennia and across the world, the egg has been a powerful symbol, representing the earth, fertility and resurrection.

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Folklore Festivals: Five Italian Folklore-Filled Weekends in October

Italian festivals offer glimpses of life in a previous time through food, re-enactments and sporting events. These events will satisfy history buffs and foodies alike. PALIO degli ASINI – Race of the…

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Some Words About ‘The Quiet Music’ from Jackie Morris

At present I am tangled in brambles and ivy, steeped in acorns and oak and painting the rhythm of the air as it moves through the feathers of a raven’s wing. I…

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Japanese Folklore: Maruyama Ōkyo and the Ghost of Oyuki

In 1750, Edo-period Japan, Maruyama Ōkyo opened his eyes from a fitful sleep and beheld a dead woman.

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All Hael! All Hael! Singing with the Kibbo Kift

What sort of music did a 1920s utopian youth movement fiercely opposed to mainstream society actually like? The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift (‘KK’) were creatures of their time.

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The Tales We Tell: Urban Legends as Modern Folklore

Contemporary life is full of folklore, including urban legends, those odd, funny, or scary stories suited to the times and places we live in.

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Top 5 American Folktales

Here, in no particular order, are the top 5 American Folktales.

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Purgatory in Spanish Folklore: The Night of the Ánimas

In rural Spain, the night still belongs to the ánimas, the spirits of the dead who didn’t go straight to Heaven or Hell.

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Black Shuck: Proof of Existence Finally Found?

“Bones of 7ft Hound from Hell Black Shuck ‘Discovered.'” During an archaeological dig, the skeletal remains of a very large dog were found amongst the ruins.

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Arcadia Britannica: A Modern British Folklore portrait by Henry Bourne

Arcadia Britannica is an ongoing photographic portrait project of the myriad of different British folklore traditions and customs

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Matlock Hare and the Three Hares Symbol

Three – some say, is the lucky number. Others find it equally as unlucky, citing dark suspicions about Shakespeare’s ‘weird-systers’ in the equally infamous ‘Scottish Play’. Love it, loathe it, dismiss it, debunk it,…

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Gargoyles: Demons in the Sky or Grotesque Guardian Angels?

An exploration of the history, myths and enduring legacy of gargoyles in popular culture.

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The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland

A couple of month’s ago I happened upon a copy of A Dictionary of British Folk-Lore by Alice Gomme, a classic work on childlore. A couple of month’s ago I was lucky…

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Folklore of Archaeology: Of Giants, Fairies, Megaliths and Menhirs

While much fairy folklore associated with prehistoric sites centres around barrows and brochs, many megaliths are linked to fairies, goblins and their counterparts, in both legend and etymology.

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The Evil Under The Soil: Burial and Unearthing in Folk Horror

The burial and subsequent unearthing of cursed objects is an act that is astonishingly common in Folk Horror.

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Slavic Traditions: The Garlands of Midsummer’s Eve

In Poland, Midsummer's Eve garlands would be set on water, their path on the surface foretelling the owner’s future, and protecting from spells and curses.

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Morris Folk: Making History

The Morris Folk project arose from a desire to document something as ephemeral as dance in new and innovative ways.

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Getting Even in Roman Britain: The Curse Tablets from Bath (Aquae Sulis)

For many residents of ancient Britain, curses involved invoking a god to influence a particular individual according to their wishes

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Following Kelpies’ Hoofprints Around Scotland

Kelpies are water-horses, who can shape-shift from underwater monsters to beautiful horses or humans on land

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Poltergeist, Witchcraft or Hoax: The Witch of Scrapfaggot Green

In the Essex village of Great Leighs, a witch named Anne Hughes was burned at the stake for the crime of bewitching her husband to death.

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