Norway Ethnography and Folklore Part II

By | December 17, 2021

The girls receive the declarations of their suitors and companions often still in the barn, a custom that dates back to very ancient times; for Switzerland it has been handed down since the Middle Ages. The granary is also the storage room for the wedding trousseau. It is said in many places that the bride’s crown, preserved from generation to generation, and which is often adorned with pendants, would be the inheritance of the ghost of a bride, who in full bridal apparatus would have been exposed due to the fact that a young man during the ceremony threw a knife at him. The bodice and belt are mostly decorated with symbolic medieval emblems, such as spoked wheels, spirals and rosettes. Before the procession is formed, a playful fight still takes place in many places between the cortege of the bride and the groom with his witnesses, for wedding gifts. So also in the evening, when the bride’s court guards the bed. It has also become a popular custom that the retinue of the bride and Fr. ex. her companions take off the cloak from the bridegroom. The bride is often hidden under a pile of hay, etc. The bride’s retinue is still often on horseback; when the bridegroom meets the bride and her entourage, speeches are exchanged which consecrate the friendship; the union is celebrated in the traditional way with beer drinks. when the bridegroom meets the bride and her entourage, speeches are exchanged which consecrate the friendship; the union is celebrated in the traditional way with beer drinks. when the bridegroom meets the bride and her entourage, speeches are exchanged which consecrate the friendship; the union is celebrated in the traditional way with beer drinks. For Norway 2005, please check ehealthfacts.org.

The membrane that sometimes envelops the newborn is considered a sign of good luck and it is believed that these children have a phylgia (protective spirit), which is depicted as a luminous figure or as a white shadow that follows man everywhere. Here too, as elsewhere, it is believed in witches who dig up the milk and indicate the places where they gather in the mountains. The places where the grass grows in a circle are pointed out as those where the elves dance. In the north, where hunting is still a very important activity, it is said that bears are often transformed men, and this ability to transform is attributed in particular to the residents of Lapland. When a particularly bad bear is killed, a belt must be found on its body, by which this act of magic can be performed. It is a sign of bad luck to meet a hare in the morning, on the contrary, a wolf or a bear. The wicked and treacherous men after death are part of the wild ride of the ghosts, on land and sea, which in Christmas time advances on little blacks as coal, led by the wild woman; the wayfarer must throw himself to the ground, to avoid being dragged into the open countryside. The doors of the stables must be equipped with a cross, because then the mares are not stolen, as they stay there until morning, covered in sweat and with a turgid belly. Where a fight or murder is taking place, spirits flock to the door and laugh when this is done. If they throw a saddle over the roof of a house, a man must die in it. the wayfarer must throw himself to the ground, to avoid being dragged into the open countryside. The doors of the stables must be equipped with a cross, because then the mares are not stolen, as they stay there until morning, covered in sweat and with a turgid belly. Where a fight or murder is taking place, spirits flock to the door and laugh when this is done. If they throw a saddle over the roof of a house, a man must die in it. the wayfarer must throw himself to the ground, to avoid being dragged into the open countryside. The doors of the stables must be equipped with a cross, because then the mares are not stolen, as they stay there until morning, covered in sweat and with a turgid belly. Where a fight or murder is taking place, spirits flock to the door and laugh when this is done. If they throw a saddle over the roof of a house, a man must die in it.

Tragic tales and fairy tales, often with mythical and heroic characters, are narrated by the spinners and weavers, as well as in the funeral wakes that bring together the entire village in the house of the dead. The hunters tell the legend of Peer Gynt, who meets a troll in a lonely alp, with the immense body of a snake; he kills it in the hut, then kills a pack of wolves; accompanied by mysterious voices in the mountains, he sees a hut surrounded by flames, frees you of the harvesters that were threatened by the troll, sees the snake-troll loaded onto a cart, dragged by a bear, etc. The sailors tell of the miraculous land of Udrøst, to which the sea crows fly, where the grain grows proudly, lives an enchanted goat with golden udders and in a hasty rush the fish throw themselves into nets one after the other in infinite quantities. In the myths there are also elements of oriental origin: the princess that her younger brother takes with the help of the dwarves, stands as silver as the moon on the tree by the pond and, pursued by the cook who hates her, turns into a fish and this, when fried, in silver mass; the mass, buried, in turn in lime tree, from whose splinters, when it is knocked down, a little girl rises who returns to being the princess.

Norway Folklore