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Nisser, elfs or pixies

December 4, 2012

old style nisse

Today, “Nisser” are known as friendly and charming little creatures, but the original nisse wasn’t that nice. The first known nisse is from year 981, in a story it is told that a farmer got help from “a creature living in a stone”. Later on, the farmer´s son became christian and demanded the creature to disappear.

Since then nisser have been living at the farms, usually helping the farmer. A nisse has the size of a 10 year old boy, and dress like the farmer did in the old days. If mysterious things happened at the farm, people expected the Nisse to be responsible for it. Perhaps as a result of being angry for some reason. An angry nisse can give you many problems. Today we still happen to explain mysterious things as “caused by a nisse”.

In 1836, the first friendly nisser appeared, made specially for Christmas by an artist who made them as paper clip for his Christmas party. Since then they have increased in numbers and can be seen everywhere in December, but only in December. The rest of the year, they are invisible.


LINK: (in Danish)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2012 9:18 pm

    That’s a piece of nisse history I didn’t know of before.

  2. December 10, 2012 12:37 pm

    What a fascinating history!

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