Merry meet my fairy souls! For those of you who enjoy my paintings and illustrations here are some of my winter fairy greeting card- designs. You can find these and other Christmas/Seasonal Greeting cards from my zazzle store.
Winter Bringer - Fairy
This was loosely inspired by the Germanic legend of Frau Holle. She was a winter goddess who was told to create snowflakes by shaking sheets/apron. I turned the idea a bit so that the winter bringer fairy would create snow by flipping her wings (you´ll get straight to the product pages by clicking the images).
The Ice Fairy
Idea of the ice fairy was more straight forward. I was thinking all the colors in an icicle. How it reflects all the color spectrum. The ice fairy must have all those colours as well.
Aurora, Fairy of the Northern Lights
The only acrylic painting of the bunch. Aurora is the joyous fairy of the northern lights. To me this painting reminds me of my childhood. We used to spent Christmas at my grandparents who lived in the border of Lapland and northern lights were in the night sky every night.
In pre-Christian Finland pagan celebrations were connected to the land and the wheel of the year was filled with celebrational days to honor spirits of the earth and the land. In the Middle Ages these spirits were re-named after Catholic saints but in many cases the ritual worship remained similar. Winter was the time of inner reflection. The term "pagan holiday" in this case refers to nature based spirituality which was something very common in a culture that had such tight relationship to the surrounding nature.
Marraskuu - November
Derived from old Finnish ”marras” meaning death (dying earth).
Jako-aika – Dividing-time 30.10 – 10.11
Sacred time between the old year and the new year. Time of the spirits. Time of the first snow.
Martin päivä – day of Martti (day of St.Martin) 10.11
Last of the autumn festivals. Dinner included seasonal foods.
Liisan päivä – day of Liisa 19.11
Roads start to get covered with ice.
Litvetin päivä – day of Litvetti 23.11
Beginning of Christmas preparations.
Kaisan päivä -day of Kaisa 25.11
Festival of Kaisa, the protector spirits of sheeps and cows. Wool of the sheeps is sheared.
Antin päivä -day of Antti 30.11
People start to prepare Christmas dishes. Weather gets colder.
(Joulu = Christmas)
Old name of the month was talvikuu the winter month.
Annan päivä – Day of Anna 15.12
Baking for Christmas begins. Giving bakings for neigbours was believed to bring good luck for the farm and the house. Holiday has pagan origins in the worship of Annikki, spirit of the forest, faith and the protector of animals. During Catholic times holiday was turned into St.Anne´s day.
Tuomaan päivä ja pesäpäivät – Day of Tuomas and the nesting 21.12
Longest night and shortest day of the year. Time of rest.
Joulu – Christmas 25.12 – 13.1
Time to remember loved ones and family members. Many pagan customs that were part of Kekri celebrations later on became part of Joulu.
Tapanin päivä – day of Tapani (St.Stefan) 26.12
Day of the horses. Time to visit neighbours and friends.
Tammikuu - January
Name of the month comes from the word tammi meaning oak. Refers to the heart (middle) of winter, which symbol was a big oak tree.
Nuutinpäivä – day of Nuutti 13.1
End of Christmas. Nuutti was a joyful festival. Group of mummers called nuuttipukit visited from house to house singing and performing.
Selkäviikot (back weeks) from Nuutti to the end of February
Time period of hard forest work
Heikinpäivä – day of Heikki 19.1
”Back of winter” snaps. The darkest time of theyear is over and spring is on it´s way.
Paavon päivä – day of Paavo 25.1
Days become more light. Traditional food of the day was peasoup.
Helmikuu - February
Sometimes known as ”pikkutammi” the little oak. Name of the month is derived from the word helmi meaning pearl, refering to the glittering snow. Coldest time of the year.
Kynttilänpäivä/kyntteli – Candlemass 2.2
First day of spring. Time to divinate weather for the coming year.
Sipin päivä – day of Sipri 15.2
Pigs and hens were let outside to eat. Several spells were made using eggs.
Kevät-Matti – Spring Matti 24.2
Nature comes alive. Spirits throw hot stones into water areas melting the ice away.
The Imp of Winter
In English folklore Jack Frost is the imp of winter, the trickster of winter and he creates the crown like spirals into windows. He makes people feel chilly during winter and according to some sources in autumn time he is the one who paints the leaves.
Norwegian winter giant
Origins of Jack Frost are in Scandinavia, more precisely in Norway. He was a giant/ a nymph-like creature called Jokul Frosti (trans. icicle frost). In Norway and in Iceland it was believed that giants created the icecaps and glaciers. In Norwegian folklore giants/ wind god Kari. Jokul Frosti is also immortal and he is forever young and as long as there is snow, Jokul Frosti is around. Jokul painted beautiful images to the windows during the night and he would nip noses of children.
In most stories told in different cultures Jack Frost is a teen-age boy, he is trickster and he likes to pull pranks on people and other nature spirits. He is a playful spirits who is usually dressed up in white, blue or silver, spiky with icicles, he waves his magic wand to cover everything with frost crystals. You can sometimes hear his laughter when he is nipping toes and fingers of people who try to stay warm.
Jokul Frosti was sometimes also seen as more frightening figure. Someone who would only darkness and bitter cold with him. In Finland and in Russia we can see a similar dual presentation. In Finnish folklore there is Pakkaspoika (the frost boy) and Pakkaukkko (the frost man) roles of the two could easily get mixed. In northern Russia and in Finland Frostman was a feared creature and people would sacrifice porridge for him so that he would leave reindeer's alone and spare people from his giant blizzards. In the Saami culture Frostman had similarities with Staalo.
Jack Frost is a classic example of a nature spirit. He rules the wintry world and he only exists in that world.
“Then he went to the mountain, and powdered its crest,
He climbed up the trees, and their boughs he dressed
With diamonds and pearls…”
Extract from “The Frost” by Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865)
He is a mysterious elvish creature. Frost has always fascinated human minds with it´s beauty. Formed from water vapour clinging to freezing surfaces. Air bubbles become attached with the ice crystals creating the white color. Hoar is frozen version of dew and it creates the beautiful swirly patterns. As all breath taking nature phenomenon´s people in the past did not believe that a creature who created such beautiful artworks could have been entirely evil.
The book of Fairies, Francis Melville, Fair Winds Press
Legend of Jokul Frosti
Nuutti, the Finnish pagan winter festival.
You can find my Northern Lights collection from my Redbubble store. This artwork is one of my best-sellers (and a personal favorite).
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer, watercolorist and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
Love fandoms AOGG and Little Women (prefers books over the films). Louisa May Alcott researcher.
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