History of Fairies

Fairies are sort of legendary creatures found in old stories and folklore of various European cultures including Celtic, Slavic, German, English, and French. They often appear as a type of soul, frequently depicted as magical and mysterious. Most fairies are described as small but having human-like appearance. They wield magical powers and have a penchant for trickery and deceit. The term fairy is some of the time used to depict any enchanted creature or a particular kind of ethereal animal or sprite, including trolls, goblins, gnomes , elves and dwarves. The idea of "fairy" as small creatures is unique to English folklore. These stories were hugely popular during the Victorian era as children’s fairy tales.


Fairies are commonly portrayed as human in appearance and having mystical powers. Little fairies of different sorts have been accounted for through hundreds of years, going from very small to the size of a human. Some smaller fairies could grow their figures to emulate people. Others were described as short in height and wearing dark armour. In some old stories, fairies have green eyes. A few portrayals of fairies show them with footwear, others as barefoot. Surprisingly, winged fairies that we know today, didn’t originally have their wings. Literature and arts during the Victorian era depicted fairies in flight using magic or perched on the backs of flying animals like birds and owls.

Origin of Fairies

Legends and tales about fairies don't have a definite origin. They are somewhat a collection of stories based on old beliefs, superstitions and literature from conflicting sources. Their origins are frequently tied to religion. For instance, the earliest stories about fairies described them as fallen angels, demons and spirits of the dead. In Irish folklore, fairies were called “little folk” or “little people” to avoid upsetting them. Scandinivian elves were sometimes referred to as fairies. Some folklore even combines elements from other cultures, most of which had been lost due to the spread of Christianity in Europe. Other people in the olden days believed that they cause misfortune and sickness like birth deformities. This is the reason why early fairy tales share a common theme. In these old stories, protective charms like church bells and four-leaf clovers are used to ward off fairies. Fairies were at times thought to frequent some areas, and lead voyagers adrift.


Most old stories about fairies include techniques for protecting oneself from their malevolence, through a variant of means like the use of charms, talismans, four-leaf clover, rowan trees which were considered sacred to fairies or essentially avoiding areas "known" to be fairy territory so as not to upset them.

Fairies were also often described as naughty and mischievous. People in the old days believed they visit rooms at night and tangle the hair of sleeping people into fairy-locks, hiding small things and leaving some in a sleep trance. Sudden death was even considered as fairies stealing someone’s soul. Other people even blamed fairies for deadly infectious diseases like tuberculosis and influenza.


Next Up: The Best Fairy Toys for Little Children

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