Category Archives: Folklore

January 08

The Trans-en-Provence UFO Sighting

“Yesterday, January 8, 1981, I was busy around the house as I am practically every day. I was behind the house, which is built over a restanque (raised level). I was building a concrete shelter for a water pump. Behind my house on the same level is an expanse of flat ground. It is reached […]

December 31

Andersen’s Little Match Girl

Here is an aspirational dramatic story about hope, love and generosity, the important matters in life, set in the last day of the calendar year, 31st of December. The Little Match Girl  (Danish: Den Lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne) is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), first published in 1845. The editor […]

December 26

Boxing Day Bonanza

To celebrate festive traditions, here is an excerpt from The Book of Christmas descriptive of the Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling, and Festivities of the Christmas Season (1836) by Victorian poet and critic Thomas Kibble Hervey (1799 – 1859). “Boxing-day is still a great day in London. Upon this anniversary, every street resounds with the clang of […]

December 23

Wagnerian Influences in Humperdinck’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’

On the 23rd of December 1893, Hansel and Gretel, an opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, premiered in Weimar, under the baton of Richard Strauss. Humperdinck composed nine works  in total for the stage. But Hansel and Gretel brought him the biggest critical acclaim. The libretto, written by Humperdinck’s sister, Adelheid Wette, was loosely based on the Brothers Grimm […]

November 12

The Loch Ness Monster in Cryptozoology and Folklore

On the 12th of November 1933, a local Scottish man called Hugh Gray took the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster, a cryptic (an allegedly large unidentified animal) that is meant to live in a lake in the Scottish Highlands. He recalled the incident as follows: “Four Sundays ago after church I went for […]

October 12

History in Nursery Rhymes: Three Blind Mice

On the 12th of October 1609, the popular children’s nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice was published in London. A version of this rhyme, together with music, was published in Deuteromelia (1609); the editor was Thomas Ravenscroft (c.1582-1635), still a teenager at the time of its publication. London life in the 1600s was hard for everyone. The capital […]

July 06

Marc Bloch on Thaumaturgy

On the 6th of July 1886, French Jewish historian Marc L. B. Bloch was born in Lyon, France. Known as the cofounder of the Annales School of French social history, Bloch is considered a quintessential modernist. Born into an academic Alsacian family, he studied in Berlin and Leipzig, fought in the trenches of the Western […]