I don’t usually go into depth with the local folklore of the countries I visit. However, after exploring the lava caves and learning about the elves got me interested. Especially, with the local mythology having to do with the new Marvel movies. Yes, Thor is related to this Island way up North.
Lava cave tour guide telling us about the elves photo courtesy of Hugo Morel
Mythology has never been my strong point. I was always been interested in the mythological adventures and thier characters. Sadly, at a young age I was discouraged to stop reading “fairy tales.” Coming from a Christian household, anything with multiple gods was against the house rules. So, it wasn’t until I was older that I got back into reading folklore.
The awesome thing about Iceland is that it’s a Nordic country. Meaning that it’s culture is similar to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Yes, Iceland is home to the Vikings. All Nordic cultures share the same gods before christanity arrived. Having the Marvel movies being such a dominant force in Hollywood, the god Thor came to mind.
Being the god of lighting, Thor is claimed to be the protector of humanity. There are many gods like Odin and Loki. So many movies have been made out these gods from the Pre-Christian times. I could write 100’s of posts just on this topic. However to not get off topic, I will focus more on the elves of Iceland.
From what are tour guide told us, Icelanders are obsessed with elves. It’s really engraved in their culture. When something goes missing, they blame it on huldufólk or the hidden people. That’s what the people of iceland call elves.
According to the local folklore, elves live among humans in a parallel universe. Icelanders are told to not throw rocks in fear of hitting one of the hidden people. Some of the Icelandic people truly believe that if you anger the elves/huldufólk, they will get thier revenge on you. By casting spells, damaging your car or causing you to get into a car crash. Not the elves we probably grew up to know and love. These ones are not as kind.
Of course, not all Icelanders believe in this folklore. Actually, the mass majority believe the hidden people are just stories to scare children. Most believe these fairytales are used to keep children in good behavior. Looks like the locals are not fooled by the fairy dust. Our tour guide seemed to think otherwise. To me, it’s just another interesting part of the local culture.
Ps. Sorry for that random post that was untitled. Not sure why it was published. Must had a been a glitch with the wordpress application. Thank you all for the continued support!
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