Are you aware of the magical legend of Tomte (Swedish)? Tomte literally translates to ‘homestead man’. Also known as The Forest Fairy, Tonttu (Finnish), & Nisse (Norway) Tomte are folklore creatures originally believed to stem from the soul of the first farm owner. Solitary & mischievous in character, these cheeky figures have a love of tradition and hate change. Their role is to protect a farm and it's buildings, children & warding off evil spirits.
During long cold winters, farms were isolated; the Tomte were a product of the farmers' imaginations and became mystical companions.
A Tomte has the appearance of a tiny man with a long white beard, who are incredibly hardworking. The ones living in the stables with the animals wear mostly grey clothes, whilst the ones in the main house are dressed more neatly, with some colour with the grey, such as red or dark green. Tomtes always sport a bright red cap.
He lends a helping hand with chores, story has it that if you keep an untidy home this will anger your Tomte and he'll perform tricks - tipping ver buckets or tying cows tails together.
Tomtes don't ask for much, only the respect and trust of the homeowner. A bowl of porridge with butter is a favourite and left out as a nice gesture to let the Tomte know he is welcome.
The spirit of the Tomte is still very much alive today in Scandinavian towns & countryside. So next time something strange happens around your home, you may have offended your little Tomte...