ICELAND FOLKLORE – ELVES and THE HIDDEN PEOPLE

Stories of elves and the Hidden People have been around in Iceland for centuries and a recent studies state that 62% – 70% of Icelanders either believe in elves and the Hidden people or say it’s possible they exist… that’s over half of Icelands population.

Some make a connection to Elves and The Hidden being the same kind of entity while others separate the two entity’s.

Elves Known by Icelanders as Huldufólk, are believed to be supernatural beings that live in nature. They look and behave similarly to humans, but live in a parallel world. Its believed they can make themselves visible at will. It seems that

Their origins are thought to be from the Bible story of Eve’s dirty children. Preparing for God’s visit to the garden of Eden, Eve washed and cleaned her children. However she didn’t have time to get to them all and tried to hide the unwashed ones.

God found out and cursed them to be forever invisible to man. The Hidden people live in rocks and hills and Icelanders are very respectful of their homes, often going as far as curving roads around rocks that are believed to be Elf houses.

Iceland people don’t like to upset the Hidden People as they are known to be vindictive. There are plenty of stories of them taking revenge on humans that have wronged them.

One of their favorite tricks to play on humans is stealing their babies and leaving an old, cranky elf changeling in their place.

It is said that the Hidden People are more powerful on certain nights of the year. It is said that if you sit at a crossroads on a Midsummer’s Night the Hidden People will approach you and offer you gold and jewels. If you resist the temptation to accept, your wishes will come true, however if you don’t you will be driven mad.

Its also believed that they visit people who stay behind at home on Christmas Eve when everyone else goes to church to try and tempt them or drive them mad.

New Year’s Eve is when the Hidden People move house and it’s thought to bring good luck to leave a little food out for them to have on their travels.

What do the Hidden People look like?

Its said that the Hidden People look a lot like us humans, and have many things in common with us. They are usually described wearing 19th century clothing, and being very beautiful. Hidden People live in stones and rocks, which may not look like much on the outside – but can be grand palaces on the inside. Sometimes when building new roads Icelanders tend to avoid damaging rocks and so on as its believed to upset the Hidden People. Many road workers have reported having bad luck, becoming ill or get injured while working near a site the Hidden People.

One of these roads is on the famous Golden Circle route, where the road takes a curve to give peace to the local Hidden People

I guess I’d be leaving some food out of the hotel room tonight as tonight is New Year’s Eve….

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL…

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