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  • Sara B

    The tomte or nisse was believed to take care of a farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep.

  • TopTenz Top 10 Lists

    Top 10 Santa Legends From Around the World - In their earliest incarnations, the Tomte (also known as Nisse) were said to be small, gnomish characters that kept watch over family farms.

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La Befana - Italian folklore about an old woman who flies on a broom and comes down the chimney to deliver presents to good children on the night of Jan 5th (Epiphany Eve).

Twas The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa

To all of you who have Laila Duran's photos pinned to your boards, it is copyrighted material. I am only reminding you of this because I am a painter and it's frustrating for an artist to have her images used without permission. Buy her book instead. Cheers, Tina Boomerina

Tomte on a Yule goat. "A tomte, nisse or tomtenisse is a mythological creature from Scandinavian folklore typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. It is generally no taller than three feet, has a long white beard and wears red or other colorful clothes. It is known as a gift bearer and is considered one of the Swedish and Norwegian versions of Santa Claus, although not entirely the same thing."

Robert Van Vorst Sewell (1860-1924) - Night Nymph

Dragonflies - Night by Jimmy Lawlor Signed limited edition print Image from original painting by Jimmy Lawlor Printed on Somerset enhanced velvet 330gm Edition of 250

Illustration by Lennart Helje ~ Lennart Helje is a Swedish illustrator particularly known for his wondrously moody paintings of gnomes either with animals or without, but usually with snow. He was born in Lima (I'm assuming a village or city in Sweden and not the Lima of Peru) in 1940.

Namahage (生剥) in traditional Japanese folklore is a demonlike being, portrayed by men wearing oversized ogre masks and traditional straw capes (mino) during a New Year's ritual of the Oga Peninsula area of Akita Prefecture in northern Honshū, Japan.

Laila Duran, author of "Scandinavian Folklore" and creator of the Folklore Fashion blog - an excellent place to learn about historical clothing from Norway and Sweden.

Scandinavian tomte ornament (tutorial).