International Fairy Day

International Fairy Day, reputedly started by artist Jessica Galbreth, celebrates fairies, the mythological creatures of folklore. The term “fairy” goes back to Europe in the Middle Ages, but similar creatures were mentioned prior, including the gandharvas in ancient Sanskrit texts, nymphs of Greek mythology, jinni of Arabic mythology, and others. Fairies were closely tied to Celtic culture and were seen as being intelligent, magical, and mischievous. Early on they were depicted as being serious in nature, and possibly dangerous and cruel. Over time they became more innocuous and now usually appear in children’s stories, using their magic powers for good.

Fairies appear as miniature humans and have dragon wings on their back that allow them to fly. However, in different books or movies you will see different types of wings for fairies. But, what all of them have in common is that fairy wings are usually large compared to the size of the body. Fairies are six inches tall and wear clothes like humans. They love celebrations and parties, they have powers to defy nature and can live under water. They love cheese and fruits. Curiously, fairies are allergic to silver.

J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play, Peter Pan, said that fairies came from the first babies’ laugh, which broke into a thousand pieces. They are generally portrayed as female, though there are male fairies too as in Thumbelina and the Tinker Bell cartoons. According to tradition, they live in Fairyland or Tír na nÓg—the land of eternal youth. This means they are rarely seen, although there are times they come into closer contact with humans. They can sometimes be seen at twilight, or during Beltane, Midsummer’s Eve and All Hallows Eve. It is said that they then try to carry off children and adults who are sleeping outside. (from Checkiday.com and Wikipedia)

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