June 24th is International Fairy Day, a day dedicated to the mythological sprites that fill our fairytales and imaginations! Fairies have existed in just about every culture around the world — though they differ from tale to tale.
Whether you see them as small winged tenders of the deep natural places of the earth or as tall stately figures with fair skin and hair, there’s one thing for certain. The world has been absolutely captured by the Fairy Craze. These creatures appear on everything from mugs to t-shirts and have been the subject of children’s fairy tales and even supernatural romances. Fairy Day celebrates these incredible mythological creatures that have captured the imagination of people everywhere and their diverse history.
Fairies have existed in just about every culture over the world, though they may have been called by different names. What they have in common, no matter where you go, is that they are spirits that inhabit the world around us and often operate by strange and often odd laws. That’s about where the similarities end, and where the amazingly diverse concepts that are the fae begin.
We’ve all heard of the winged fairies that flit around flowers and are always drawn like butterfly winged cherubs of slight form, but did you know that Dwarves and Gnomes are also part of the fae family? These creatures were common among the Germanic folk, and especially those who worked in mines and mountains. Knockers were a form of fairy that lived in mines and would ‘knock’ to warn miners of pending cave-ins and danger, hence their name.
The red-hatted gnomes that occupy so many people’s gardens were fashioned after creatures from the far north. These quiet and unassuming creatures were part of the dark northern forests and spent their time living near the homes of humans, which they’d sometimes help out.
There’s even fae that lives in the oceans like the Irish Selkie, dark of hair and eye, these creatures were able to turn into humans. Turn into humans we say? Yes! They started lives as seals and would take off their skin when they came ashore and take the form of beautiful women.
If one were lucky enough to steal their skin they’d be able to take a Selkie wife, so long as they didn’t let the skin be found!