Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #FolkloreThursday

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Given that it's #FolkloreThursday, I thought I might tell you a story about witches and fart runes (yes, fart runes) from the #Westfjords of #Iceland. THREAD
The Westfjords are a large peninsula in northwestern Iceland, one of the truly remote regions of the country. Only 7,000 people live in an area roughly half the size of Scotland. No wonder that this remote region has for centuries been associated with dark arts and witchcraft.
The main attraction here is the solitude and breathtaking scenery: the cliffs at Látrabjarg comprise the longest bird cliff in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and the uninhabited and dramatic Hornstrandir peninsula is a hiking paradise for those seeking solitude in summer.
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A Norwegian naming story, or at least the parts I can remember: Once upon a time, at the dawn of ages, before all things got their names, there were seven sisters. #FolkloreThursday 1/
One time the seventh sister was lost in the pine forest, and in the dark and the dense branches, she couldn't see the stars to find her way home. 2/
As she walked and searched for the way, she suddenly saw a tiny lone star. It was a small white flower, showing up bright in the dark forest. 3/
Read 6 tweets
Time for my occasional series "Why is Twitter so awful and what are we going to do about it?"

And today I'm trying to find out what Twitter is actually good for. Let's take a look... #fridaythoughts
Twitter started as a microblogging site, and as blogs are familiar things we can hopefully work out how good Twitter is at this.

So what is a blog and what does it do? Well there are many flavours of blog out there...
First there are the expert blogs: subject matter specialists sharing their insights about stuff they really know about. These blogs sea a kind of free punditry: people acting as if they had a newspaper column.
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As it is #FolkloreThursday (apparently?) now seems a good time to mention that my hometown has not just 𝘰𝘯𝘦 but 𝙩𝙬𝙤 big legends which are fairly well known. These are:

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘮
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘓𝘢𝘥

(1/4)
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘮 is a fairly traditional hero vs. "dragon" story which has the odd distinction that in this instance the "dragon" is inadvertently created by the "hero".

I think it resembles a truncated version of 𝘉𝘦𝘰𝘸𝘶𝘭𝘧, but your mileage may vary.

(2/4)
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘓𝘢𝘥 is a ghost story with its roots firmly in the Late Middle Ages and associated with the (now almost completely ruined) Hylton Castle. In later years the 𝘊𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘓𝘢𝘥 is alleged to have terrified miners returning home from the night shift.

(3/4)
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It's the first #FolkloreThursday of the new year! So, what better Shaligram to start off 2020 than the classic Sudarshan?

(A Thread about the most popular Shaligram there is.)
The Sudarshana Chakra is the spinning, disk-like weapon, indicative of Vishnu. Literally meaning "vision of which is auspicious," and having 108 serrated edges, the Sudarshana Chakra is generally portrayed on the right rear hand of the four hands of Vishnu in his cosmic form.
Along with the shankha (conch shell), a gada (mace) and a padma (lotus). -- All of which are also represented in Shaligram form; but that's an entirely different thread.
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Today is "Waldmännchentag", Day fo the Bugbear, in parts of Germany and Berchtoldstag in Switzerland. Traditionally an unlucky day, one of the "Rauhnächte" (the "Bleak Nights"), the darker continental variant of the Twelve Nights, when the Wild Hunt rides.
#FolkloreThursday
English-speaking countries preserved more gentle traditions like wassailing and pantomimes, Central European customs hint at things older and darker. Rauhnächte are nights when the Wild Hunt rides, sometimes not led by Odin himself but the goddess Perchta.
#FolkloreThursday
On Waldmännchentag all forest work is suspended lest youl meet a bugbear (the "Waldmännchen") in the woods, woken from his winter sleep and that's really bad cess.

#FolkloreThursday
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Vishnu As Mohini Cut Off Swarbhanu Head With Sudarshan Chakra. Rahu Ketu Could Not Die But His Head Was Separated From His Body & His Head Came To Be Known As Rahu. While His Body Came To Be Known As Ketu.

#folklore #OnionCrisis #OnionEmergency
As Soon As The Head Was Cut. A Few Drops Of Nectar Fell Into The Ground BelowWith Blood From The Mouth Of The Monster From Which Onion And Garlic Originated.

#OnionPriceHike #FolkloreThursday #EkThiEconomy
Being Born From Nectar, Onion & Garlic Are Curative And Life-giving. But Due To The Mixing Of Demonic Blood. It Has Acquired Demonic Qualities.They Increase Excitement, Anger, Violence. Unrest & Sin.That's why Onion-garlic Is Not Used In Fasting.

#OnionCrisis #folklore #onions
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The tale of Tom Thumb is one of the earliest fairytales to be printed in English. In one of his exploits he is eaten by a cow as he hides under a thistle. In some versions the cow spits him out but in others his parents wait for him to be deposited via a cowpat! #FolkloreThursday
The tale of Tom Thumb tells that the Fairy Queen was present at Tom's birth and named him. She decreed that he must be dressed by these instructions:
"An oak-leaf hat he had for his crown;
His shirt of web, by spiders spun:
His jacket wove of thistle's down..." #FolkloreThursday
There have been several #films made of the story of Tom Thumb including the 1958 musical directed by George Pal (released by MGM) starring Russ Tamblyn, June Thorburn, Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas. #FolkloreThursday
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(1/9) THREAD👇on SIN-EATING for #FolkloreThursday. In the 19th century, it was customary during a funeral to provide biscuits for mourners. They were often wrapped & sealed in black wax. Here you see an example of a funeral biscuit wrapper from 1828. Photo: @Pitt_Rivers
@Pitt_Rivers (2/9) This tradition was probably derived from the earlier practice of "sin-eating," whereby the sins of the deceased were transferred to a person who, for a fee, consumed food & drink handed to him over the coffin.
@Pitt_Rivers (3/9) Mourners would pay the village sin-eater to rid their departed loved ones from all the sins they had accumulated during their lives. The sin-eater would then perform a ritual which would allow the dead to enter Heaven unburdened.
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It's now just before midnight here, and the #Halloween theme of today's #FolkloreThursday provides the perfect excuse for a thread on Malaysian #ghosts and other scary things. I will not include beings like the gergasi and bunian which are not ghosts at all but mythological races
One of the reasons for this thread is to give an authentic description of these ghosts from traditional folklore, the way they would've been imagined historically. This often differs from modern interpretations you'll find online or in movies and urban legends
Let's start with an explanation of terminology. The general word for ghost in modern Malay is hantu, although it actually means something more akin to "spirit" than ghost. Contrary to modern misconception, not all are bad or scary
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Considered the Minotaur today for #FolkloreThursday . Wandered a short way into the lore, became wonderfully sidetracked in that dark, twisting realm. Carl Jung called the Labyrinth a symbol of our journey thru our own psyche, to reach the Self at the heart of the Maze. 1/
Freud had a darker take: We are all trapped within the Labyrinth of our own unconscious.

Point is: _We_ are the scariest Monster. We create our mental Labyrinth, running through the dark from our worst fears, summoned and magnified by that dark maze. #FolkloreThursday 2/
The real Labyrinth in THE SHINING is also metaphor. Can’t unsee Jack looming over the model hedge maze, Wendy & Danny playing in it outside - all contained within the twisted maze of Jack's own madness and the haunted Labyrinth of the Overlook Hotel. #FolkloreThursday 3/
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HALLOWEEN IN WALES:
A THREAD 🎃🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

"All Hallows Eve is by the Welsh called ‘Nos Calan Gaeaf,’ meaning the first night of winter. It is one of the three nights for spirits, upon which ghosts walk and fairies are abroad." 1/

#Wales #Halloween #HalloweenCountdown #folklorethursday
(I'll be updating this thread daily as we count down to Halloween, and all quotes are courtesy of the great Wirt Sikes 1880 unless otherwise stated)
On #Halloween (Nos Calan Gaeaf) in Wales: "ghosts walk, fairies are abroad, mysterious influences are in the air, strange sights are seen, and in short goblins of every sort are to be with special freedom encountered."

🎃🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Pic: Tintern Abbey

#Wales #HalloweenCountdown
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THREAD for @FolkloreThurs’s #Underworld + #underground theme: Katabasis (descent to an underworld) is common in classical myth + lit, e.g. Odysseus, Aeneas, and Orpheus visit the Underworld. But this mythological theme is also prominent in fantasy literature:
#FolkloreThursday
Examples: in Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Farthest Shore, Ged + Arran journey to the Dry Land of the dead to discover why magic is “thinning” in Earthsea. Resisting the desire for immortality (or rather serial longevity) is key in Le Guin’s mythos.
@FolkloreThurs #FolkloreThursday
In @PhilipPullman’s The Amber Spyglass, Lyra and Will have their own katabasis and “harrowing of hell” (alternative to the Christian one) too. This visit will determine their fate and that of their worlds!
@FolkloreThurs #FolkloreThursday
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Good morning to one and all! Here are a few tales of #elderly folk, on this crisp #FolkloreThursday morning. 1/5

“Gudbrand on the Hill” tells of the marital bliss that comes as a couple grows older.
norwegianfolktales.blogspot.com/2018/04/gudbra…
Regine Normann’s “The Woman Who Understood Not to Moderate” lifts the lid on our unending quest to live for ever. 2/5
nordlandsnatt.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-wo…
“Friends in Life and Death” is a solemn reminder to live well. 3/5
norwegianfolktales.blogspot.com/2017/12/friend…
Read 5 tweets
1/ The runic script, the 1st to be adopted by Germanic speakers, was rarely used for everyday writing. The symbols represented both letters & cosmic forces, giving runes an added spiritual significance. But what's myth behind the script? #FolkloreThursday

(Ovre Stabu Spearhead)
2/ Rune means both 'letter' & 'secret' in many Germanic languages - hinting at their supposed magical origins. The Norns, 3 powerful female Jotun, were the 1st to use the runes. They'd carve them into the world tree Yggdrasil to control the fates of gods & men. #FolkloreThursday
3/ Odin envied the Norns' power. Yet, he knew the runes would only reveal themselves to those worthy of such insight. Odin pierced himself with his spear & hung himself off one of the branches of Yggdrasil, sacrificing himself for the runes. #FolkloreThursday
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(1/11) THREAD👇#FolkloreThursday: During the 19th century, many people living in Derbyshire meticulously collected and stored their fallen or extracted teeth in jars. When a person died, these teeth were placed inside the coffin alongside the corpse. (Photo: Hunterian).
(2/11) On Judgment Day, those who failed to do this would be damned to search for the lost teeth in a bucket of blood located deep within the fiery pits of Hell. Stories like this help us to understand why people in the past feared the anatomist’s knife.
(3/11) Deliberate mutilation of the body could have dire consequences in the afterlife. For many living in earlier periods, dissection represented the destruction of one’s identity. Most people imagined the dead to have an active, physical role in the next world.
Read 11 tweets
POP QUIZ: What’s the most dangerous magical animal?
If you said ‘A mouse that’s actually a lady married to a dude w/ a grudge,’ then DING DING DING
This will make more sense after you read a #folklorethursday story thread called
MANAWYDDAN, THE SON OF LYR
Or
‘Mist Connections’
IMAGE: Illustration from “ Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic,” Albert Herter, 1898
Our story begins on the heels of Branch 2 of the Mabinogion, taking place after the Welsh did an accidental genocide on the Irish, then went on a decades-long quest to bury a severed head, but 8 of those decades were in a magic land so YMMV re: timelines.
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Fascinating thread on djinn, a type of invisible being in Middle Eastern and Islamic folklore, that specifically cause illness, with insights into the medical culture that made space for both natural and “supernatural” via @aaolomi #folklorethursday
Assyrian and Babylonian medicine made space for natural explanations (snake bites, fevers) alongside the demons, gods, ghosts, and other forces thought to cause illness.

For example, Ishtar, goddess of love and war, was responsible for sexual dysfunction.
The Babylonian and Assyrian demon Pazuzu, the baddy of “The Exorcist”, gets a bad rap but was actually used to ward off other demons.

Depicted with a human head and canine jaws, protruding ribs, bird’s talons, and arms that end in claws, he was terrifying, but apotropaically so.
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The idea of fairies at the bottom of the garden might seem twee and childish, but consider the implication. All wild space - no matter how small or close to "civilised" - is magical. Nature waits hungrily at the edges of our concrete world, ready to reclaim at a moment's notice.
Wow, this is unexpectedly popular. Please check out mine and @pauljholden's weekly #FolkloreThursday #folklorecomic s
Not many years ago now, my eldest son (who would have been about 6 or 7 at the time) and I found a tiny, leather satchel/bag. Maybe two or three inches wide, but like a normal leather satchel. A gnome's handbag, is what we called it. 1/2
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The forest has always been a liminal space, the last boundary between the civilized world and the wild lands. Since the roman epoch and its writings on the gloomy celtic woods where shapeless gods dwelt. But forest isn't only a wild space but a sacred one too.

#FolkloreThursday
Civilization grew up, and so did the Shadow of the forest. Since the wild began to be identified as evil, the sacred woods were, turned into the home of witches, werewolves and other mean creatures. People forgot their own nature, the wild part inside us.

#FolkloreThursday
Gothic literature reflects us that separation between the city, world of humankind, and the woods, home of ghosts and witches. But not always was in that way. We must remember that there was a time when men went wild, became wolves and run through the forest.

#FolkloreThursday
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#FolkloreThursday In the 1850s Michael Aislabie Denham collected a vast amount of folklore of the north of England, known as The Denham Tracts, including a list of supernatural creatures with which in earlier times "the whole earth was so overrun." This is his list.
ghosts, boggles, bloody-bones, spirits, demons, ignis fatui, brownies, bugbears, black dogs, spectres, shellycoats, scarecrows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-Goodfellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, breaknecks, fantasms, hobgoblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbies,
hob-thrusts, fetches, kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mum-pokers, Jemmy-burties, urchins, satyrs, pans, fauns, sirens, tritons, centaurs, calcars, nymphs, imps, incubusses, spoorns, men-in-the-oak, hell-wains, fire-drakes, kit-a-can-sticks, Tom-tumblers, melch-dicks, larrs,
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Another #FairyTale for #FolkloreThursday's #tree theme: The Golden Apple Tree & the 9 Peahens.
In a case of the disappearing golden apples, 3 sleepy sons swear to discover the culprit. The youngest gets woken up by midnight (!) & sees 9 chicks (birds-then-girls) fly in...
Art ^ & v: Petar Meseldzija
.. & get serious apple noms. 1 keeps him occupied with 'kindly conversation' & leave him 2 apples by request. Jealous bros employ a stealthy old woman (from the Secret Sista Society we assume) to see how little bro got "them apples". #FolkloreThursday
#FolkloreThursday
Secret stealthy senior hides under bed, under apple tree & sees glowy "waaah" fr bird to chick; sneak-snips lock of her hair. "Screech!" chick back to bird & all little birdies fly away 4eva. Prince upset. Has SSS torn to pieces. He cries. The End. Not really...
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New thread starting ready for 26 Aug @NationalDogDay! 'Irish Dogs, Myths, Saints & Other Interesting Facts!' Suggestions welcome (you might think of something I haven't)! @MagicalEurope @CruftsFans #FolkloreThursday #dogsoftwitter #NationalDogDay #InternationalDogDay! 🐶🐕🐩🐾
@NationalDogDay @MagicalEurope @CruftsFans Irish Wolfhound, symbol of #Ireland! Wolfhounds one of the oldest breeds of dogs recorded in world! Its impossible to know for sure, but skeletal remains suggest they arrived c 8,000 BC! 📷: Aella Grace, with owner Rebecca at neolithic Newgrange, Co Meath (younger; c 3200 BC)! 🐾
@NationalDogDay @MagicalEurope @CruftsFans 279 BC when Celts sacked Delphi📷 #Greece, survivors left accounts of fierce Celts & huge dogs who fought with them & at their side. No doubt Wolfhounds! PS-Ancient Greeks considered the @UNESCO Delphi the centre of the world, marked by the omphalos📷stone! #FolkloreThursday
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One of my favourite kids books. "Instruction manual for defence and protection against Ale and Bauci" (basically spooky things). The book is based on actual Serbian folklore rastkociric.com/filestore/pdf/… @MagicalEurope @FolkloreThurs @TheSacredIsle @FolkTaleProject @FolkloreSociety
I will translate each page, which contains the description of the spooky thing, how it affects people and how to defend against it, over next couple of weeks and will attach it to this thread
Avet. A thin shadowy ugly being with bulging eyes. Lives in abandoned houses where it strangles its victims. It hates light, especially sunlight. Cross also helps, garlic too, and spells @MagicalEurope @FolkloreThurs @TheSacredIsle @FolkTaleProject @FolkloreSociety
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