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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

The Kalevala is a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. Regarded as the national epic of Finland & one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. The Kalevala played an instrumental role in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland's language strife and the growing sense of nationality that ultimately led to Finland's independence from Russia in 1917.

Dragonflies-Night. Acrylic on Board by Jimmy Lawlor. Location: Private Collection.

Long deerskin(?) tunic Lappland in northern Sweden the Sami collect their reindeer herds, A wonderful & exiting experience. We left Jokkmokk in the afternoon Told was “only 3000″ reindeer to organize that day so it should take about four or five hour to get the job done. shown the traditional way to keep warm during the sometimes extreme cold above the arctic circle. Reindeer fur in both pants and boots seemed like a very very good idea and my goodness how handsome they looked!

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.

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.