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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).
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."
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.