The northern European countries of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, and Scotland all have strong traditions of elves, trolls, and fairies of many kinds (the wee folk, not the tinkerbell kind). We will cover some of these in coming weeks because some of them link to natural phenomenon or tell us something about the human character.
The Huldufólk of Iceland In Iceland you'll meet a surprising number of people who still believe that the elves are real. However you shouldn't refer to them by name as you could attract their attention and that could be bad luck. Instead they are referred to as the Huldufólk, or hidden people. They stay out of the way of humans generally speaking and are famed for having magical powers.
It is considered very bad luck, and manners, to throw stones because you could hit an elf or one of their homes. Tiny houses called álfhól, are scattered all over the country and are built by people for the Huldufólk. This is a place for them to feel safe with so many humans around.
In a country full of volcanic activity, shifting permafrost, and dramatic interactions between sea, air, and land, where small holes in the ground may be dozens of meters deep and give off strange noises and smells its no wonder that there are legends about who might still inhabit the countryside.
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