Doing these top 10 lists, I get to learn about some rather amazing things that I never thought possible or just never knew existed. Today is the latter of those two as I have just found out about the Icelandic festive tradition of elf houses! Called “Huldufólk” people create amazing little houses for the village elves. But these elf houses are not for the happy, clappy, elves’s that help Santa, in fact, they are nothing like them at all…
BONUS CONTENT: Top 10 Facts About Icelandic Elves
10 – The white picket fence is perfect, even I would live here!
FACT: The huldufólk creatures live in the underworld right under the beneath of the ground in rocks and hills, but they don’t get there by magic, apparently they just dig using picks and buckets!
9 – Sometimes it really is nothing more than a piece of painted wood and a door number!
FACT: In stories, books and people’s memories that have been handed down from generation to generation tells us that the huldufólk are best described as “glowing, brightly light and very attractive!”
8 – I wonder how long it took them to make the tiny rock walls?!?
FACT: Icelandic elves can sometimes be rather scary but don’t worry. According to tradition, they are scared of crosses, churches and electricity! Which is odd given that most people build little churches for them.
7 – It seems that often the elf houses will represent the human house around them!
FACT: Part of folklore about Huldufólk says that they are not happy, tiny little people at all, they were very large and tall in build, their clothes are all grey, and their hair black as night!
6 – Looks like another great place to live, almost perfect in fact!
FACT: The truth behind the existence of huldufólk is back in the days when various people were conquering lands the Icelanders were very few in number, so they doubled their population with tales of elves and fairies to scare off any adventuring wanderer’s!
5 – I do have to wonder who lives in the tiny, tiny houses next door?!?
FACT: Not only do some Icelandic gardens feature little álfhól (elf houses) for them to live in, but many gardens also have tiny churches to convert elves to Christianity!
4 – The detail some of them have is amazing, windows, doors and stone walls!
FACT: People believe that it was angry elves/huldufólk who were responsible for an incident in Bolungarvík where fist-sized rocks rained down on residential streets for 2 days!!! (yes this really did happen)
3 – If they fear churches, why put them next to their houses?!? Seems rather cruel!
FACT: It is against the law to build on a piece of land where you can throw stones with even the remotest possibility of hitting the huldufólk!
2 – The best bit about this one it the super tiny garden gnome!
FACT: Major building projects in Iceland are sometimes altered and a workaround made to prevent damaging rocks where these elves are believed to live and that goes on even today!
1 – A quiet Elf house in the middle of the woods, nothing strange about this at all!
FACT: The reasons people believed and why many still do in these elves is in fact quite obvious. In a landscape full of dramatic volcanic action, wind, water, cliffs and holes, a simple hole in a rock could not only be thousands of meters deep but also full of strange smells and sounds making anyone’s imagination grow!