Fairies

As children we understand the fairies. Yet as we grow up, most of us lose faith and the fey folk recede from our adult world. As Peter Pan says:

"Every time a child says 'I don't believe in fairies', there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead."
Start clapping your hands!

Background

Fairies appear in many different cultures in many different guises. They - along with other of the small folk - seem particularly prevalent in ancient Celtic folklore. The fairy culture later spread from Europe to America. Some say that the fairies themselves spread at the same time.

Our usual image of a fairy is of a tiny person, usually with wings. Very often they are depicted as beautiful and there appear to be far more females than males (except perhaps when it comes to Halloween costumes!).

Strictly speaking, fairies are not limited to just this form. Various other small folk such as leprechauns can be classified as "faerie" in nature.

Although fairies are usually depicted in art and pictures as attractive, they are not necessarily completely good. They are often chaotic and mischievous - even the famous Tinkerbell was no saint. The gothic fairy tends to be darker in nature. Some forms of fairy are positively malign.

Many of the fey are tricksters and use their magic - glamour - to cast illusions and fool the senses of humans.

Fairyland

Usually the fairy folk are believed to inhabit some other world that exists side by side with ours This fairy land - often portrayed as a feudal kingdom - is entered by secret paths and doorways that only the fey know and can open. Sometimes a traveller stumbles across these by accident at others they are deliberately lured in.

Often these entrances to the fairy kingdom are associated with ancient burial mounds or hill forts.

A common belief is that if you enter fairyland then you must not eat or drink anything. If you do, you will be unable to return.

Sometimes fairies are believed to steal a human child, taking it back with them to fairyland and leaving a changeling in its place.

Origin

There have been many stories about the origin of fairies. Perhaps the simplest is that they really are a different race living alongside mankind for millennia.

It is also frequently said that fairies are some form of spirits. Sometimes they are portrayed as nature spirits, at others as supernatural beings or spirits of the dead. A Christian tale has it that fairies are actually the spirits of fallen angels.




References:
Fairy Bedroom Ideas