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FAIRY TRIVIA

Winged Fantasy by Josephine Wall

* According to medieval romance, fairies and all the tribes of elves of every description are converted into hideous animals on Friday, and remain so till Monday.

* The wild Irish peasantry believe that dust is raised on roads by fairies on a journey, and raise their hats to it, saying, “God speed you, gentlemen.” The Arabs think the whirlwind and waterspout are caused by evil jinns.

* Fairies inhabit kingdoms and palaces either underground or in Fairyland.

* Since fairy time does not correspond to human time, humans who spend the night with fairies often return to see their great-grandchildren who are unknown to them.

* Fairies love music and dancing. They dance in fairy rings by moonlight or in the mist.

* Fairy Rings are circles of rank or withered grass, often seen in lawns, meadows, and grass-plots. They are said to be produced by the fairies dancing on the spot. In reality, these rings are simply a fungus below the surface, which has seeded in a circular range, as many plants do.

* A human caught in the fairy ring has to dance for a year and a day but to him it only seem likes minutes.

* Once inside a faerie ring, a human cannot escape unless a human chain from the outside is formed to pull him/her out.

* If inside a faery ring, humans should never eat or drink anything that is offered to them.

* Fairy gold can float in Fairyland.

* Fairies possess unpredictable and humorous mischief.

* Smaller fairies are more beautiful and virtuous.

* Taller fairies are more dishonest and steal butter, milk, cows, goats and babies which they leave ugly changelings in their place.

* Whenever you enter a fairy dwelling you should always remember to stick a piece of steel, such as a knife, a needle, or a fish-hook, in the door; for then the elves will not be able to shut the door till you come out again.

* Bells are used as protection against faeries and evil spirits.

* Many trees are sacred to faeries.

* Acorns from the oak tree can be made into faerie talismans if found and gathered by the light of the full moon.

* Roses are said to attract faeries.

* Faeries despise iron and it is said that it can harm or even kill a faery.

* To guard against mischievious spirits, it is best to use flint.

* Whenever when you have shot a deer and are bringing it home at night, be sure to thrust a knife into the carcase, for that keeps the fairies from laying their weight on it.

* A knife or nail in your pocket is enough to prevent the fairies from lifting you up at night.

* Nails in the front of a bed ward off elves from women “in the straw” and from their babes; but to make quite sure it is better to put the smoothing-iron under the bed, and the reaping-hook in the window.

* If a bull has fallen over a rock and been killed, a nail stuck into it will preserve the flesh from the fairies.

* Fairies do not like the idea of having their names known

* Some believe that if fairies know a person's name, they will do them an injury; but so long as they do not know their name, these mischievous sprites are powerless

* Fairy Darts are flint arrow-heads, supposed at one time to have been thrown by fairies in their pranks

* Fairy Hillocks are little knolls of grass, like mole-hills, said in the “good old times” to be the homes of fairies

* Fairy Loaves or Fairy Stones are fossil sea-urchins, said to be made by the fairies

* Faeries are attracted to laughter.

* Faeries seem to gather where there are children playing.

* Faeries love nature, woodland animals and tending to flowers.

* Faeries love shiny stones, like marbles.

* According to farmers, faeries love to play in straw.

* Green is the faeries favorite color. Second favorite color is red.

* Faeries love musical instruments. Their favorites are panpipes, cymbals, harps, whistles and drums.

* If you place your shoes with the toes pointing away from the bed, you can protect yourself against fairy pranks while you sleep.

* A four leaf clover can give a person the ability to see a faerie even if they are in their invisible state.

* People born in the morning can't see spirits or the fairy world. Those born at night can see the spirits of the dead.

* Eggshells are favorite fairy homes

* Ancient arrowheads, called elf stones, are used as a charm to guard cattle.

* Fairies never eat salt and humans who even taste unsalted faerie food have the spell put upon them making them forgetful of their past life. If a human carried just a pinch of salt at all times, he would be guaranteed a good meal, and a good story to tell when he returned home.

* Fairies love milk and honey and drink flower nectar as their fairy wine.

* Fairies can assume any form and can make horses out of straw.

*Everytime a fairy changes shapes he/she loses size.

* Fairies don't like humans who break taboos (known as geasas) imposed by faeries. Often a faery gift is given with a magickally imposed prohibition attached to it. If the taboo is broken, the gift or power is often taken away.

*The tangles we get in our hair at night are caused by fairies.

*If you dance with fairies until dawn you will never stop.

*If you step on a fairies toes while dancing you will turn to stone

* Fairies don't like the sound of bells, especially church bells. (The one exception are those bells that they hang on their horses' harnesses.)

* Fairies really like hunting, riding in procession, and spots such as hurling. Often the faeries must bring a mortal man to join their side in a hurling match, to give them strength.

* Fairies love playing chess, long considered a game fit for kings.

* Hawthorn trees, holly, foxglove and ragwort are dear to faeries, and they punish people who abuse them. (They use a ragwort stalk to fly through the air.) In Northern Ireland in 1907, a farmer who had swept his chimney with a holly bough was troubled with flying stones in his house.

* Fairies don't like being intruded upon or spied upon (they punish this severly). 

* Fairies don't like theft of faery possessions by humans. Though they think it perfectly acceptable to steal from people, they are furious if people steal from them. Similarly, they have no sense of humor if one of their tricks gets played back on them.

* Fairies like order, tidyness, and neatness.  It used to be said that a housewife who did not keep a neat home would be pinched by the faeries in punishment.

* Fairies use dishes or buckets of clear, clean water to wash their babies.   They don't like empty pails or those filled with dirty water.

* Fairies love cake, especially if served with dishes of milk or cream. 

* Fairies enjoy warm hospitality, generosity, good manners, and cheerfulness, honesty, and sincerity.   They don't like rudeness, selfishness, lack of generosity, or people who are moody or melancholy.

* Fairies like "borrowing" items from humans such as food, tools, fire, etc.

* Fairies like golden hair, particularly on beautiful young women. 

* Fairies prefer bright colored clothing.

* Fairies love the sound of the crowing of a rooster.

* Fairies don't like iron. Long ago, those fearful of meeting faeries would carry a piece of iron (or steel) with them, especially a cross or a horseshoe.

* Rue, St. Johns wort and yarrow are said to be anti-faery herbs. 

* Fairies don't like lies or deceptions by humans. Even evil faeries do not lie, although they may seriously mislead or deceive.

* Fairies don't like nagging wives or husband/wife beaters.

* Fairies don't like humans who boast of faery gifts they've recieved.

 

--Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

--Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

--The Golden Bough, 1922.