Saturday, November 25, 2006

Local customs of my country: Sweden

Local customs is almost always about traditions and holidays, but I want to share the Swedish folklore with you all! In former times people believed in several mystical beings and most of them lived in the woods.

The evil spirit of the water (Näcken) looked like a beautiful naked man. This man sat at the river and played violin. He played so beautiful that he spellbound children with the music so they fell into the river and drowned. Another being was the lady of the Forrest (Skogsrået). Seen from the front she was a stunningly beautiful, naked female being with long hair, but from behind she was hollow like an old tree trunk. She lured men into the forest to have sex with her, rewarding those who satisfied her and often killing those who didn't. People also believed in brownies (tomtar), small dwarfs that lived at farms. The brownie took care of the animals and if you irritated him he could be very mean. It is still a costume in Sweden to put out a plate of rice pudding with a big pat of butter on the door step; it is a reward to thank him and keep the farm’s fortune. Another kind of beings is the trolls (troll), who live deep in the Forrest under a rock or a root. The trolls could make them selves invisible and robs children when they get the chance. The people thought that the trolls robbed anabaptized children and therefore it was very important to baptize them rapidly. The trolls were very greedy and rich and loved gold. In Sweden we still say that a very rich person is “rich as a troll”. In former times people also believed in fairies (älvor). The fairies danced in the meadows in the bright Swedish summer night. The fairies is described as small white dressed female beings and if they did not get home before dawn they where transformed to an invisible ghost.


Blogger Shing said...

Näcken sounds so much like the Pied Piper of Hamelin!

1:55 AM  

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