Today I bring you one of my local folkloric creatures, known In Denmark and Norway as a Nisse and in Sweden as a Tomte!
This folkloric creature is highly associated with Christmas in our time and has become the equivalent of the Elves who help Santa. But the Nisse is an ancient creature and hasn’t always been associated with Christmas. Many years ago people talked about Forest Nisser, Church Nisser and Farm Nisser. The name Nisse is an old form of the Danish name Nis or Niels.
The Nisse itself looks like a small person, usually an old man with beard and a red hat. The Nisse usually lives in a farm and if the farmer treats it nice by giving it porridge it will make sure that good things will happen. However, if you don’t care about the Nisse it can do annoying things or in some cases even kill you! But of course the Nisse isn’t respected anymore and has walked down the same road as for example the Japanese Kappa or even vampires. They’ve become a joke, because of the media’s “softification.”