A horse or a dragon? Anyone who has seen May Day's ‘Obby ‘Oss of Padstow may conclude that it looks
“Hat, cat, rat,” Umakant would shout at the top of his voice whenever he would see cowherds around the Peepal
Spring is the herald of new life, and throughout the animal world, spring is a time to forecast the weather
Stereotypes based on appearance are all too common, but redheads certainly seem to have a raw deal. Where might some
St Patrick’s Day, 17th March, is a key fixture in the Irish calendar, and indeed in many other places throughout
The phrase "Tapping the Admiral" originates from a piece of folklore surrounding the death of Horatio Nelson at the Battle
Sending mean cards? Eating mashed earthworms? Using jack o’lanterns to light medieval love banquets? They’re all surprising yet vaguely sinister
The Folklore of Cornwall: The Oral Tradition of a Celtic Nation addresses everything from piskies – south west Britain’s fairies
If a cow lost her milk, it could prove disastrous for a hard-up family. Witches and fairies were often blamed
he legendary frost fairs on the River Thames are depicted in a number of works of art that show just
Plant lore is the verdant heart of Scottish folk holidays and traditions. Nature’s gift and sacrifice is found in the
anukkah is one of the most celebrated holidays in the Jewish calendar. It’s known by some as the Festival of
The exhibition "Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft" at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford examines the history of magic over eight
October the season of death is here and soon comes Halloween with its cavalcade of ghosts and goblins together with
So, what is necromancy and what does it have to do with folklore? Come with me, and let’s enter the
A project cataloguing the archive of a renowned British palaeopathologist has revealed fascinating insights into how superstition and a belief
In some regions of Madagascar, it is considered fady to eat certain lemurs, meaning local taboos can actually act as
Incorporating folklore can add authenticity, richness and whole new layers of meaning to historical fiction. Novelist Melissa Harrison explores how
The Jack-in-the-Green was (and indeed is) a traditional participant in May celebrations and May Day parades in the UK.
The narrative of witchcraft in Ireland is a subject often left out of major surveys of the wider history of
David Castleton explores a curious local tradition in Glentham, Lincolnshire, which seems to merge folkloric traditions with Christian rituals.
Kim McGreal explores the curious and macabre origins of some well-known childhood nursery rhymes.
In America’s Dairyland, expressing one’s ethnic identity sometimes means not only participating in the revitalization of a folk art but
In the great wealth of witch-related lore, the image of the persecuted local midwife is one of the most enduringly popular.
Although their origins lie in Japanese folk traditions, omamori are still a popular sight throughout Japan. The word itself, 御守り,
Maypoles are often seen as a quintessentially English tradition, yet in Bavaria the raising of the Maibaum (or May Tree)
May Day is a traditional spring celebration in many cultures, linked with Gaelic Beltane, and is now also the date of Labour
I began writing 'Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe: A Treasury of British Folklore' back in April last year.