In Denmark, Farm Nisse is considered to the gift bearer and was previously known as Julenisse. This figure has a strong influence over the Christmas traditions all over the world. Have you read the poem, 'Tomten' by Viktor Rydberg? Well, in this poem the painting of the traditional Swedish mythological character is turned into a red, long bearded friendly figure. This figure has been associated with Christmas since then. Similar to the Santa Claus, Tomte also brings gifts for the children; the difference only lies in the way it is done. Tomte is considered to be the most familiar creatures belonging to the Scandinavian folklore and has also found place in literature as well. Tomte has gained popularity in the English editions of the fairytales and the word 'Nisse' was translated as 'goblin'. This article provides all the information about Tomte and his characteristics. Scroll further to learn more about this gift bearing spirit.
Tomte, Nisse or 'Tomtenisse' are all Swedish words, which depict an area of influence or place of residence. This mythological creature is thought to be a humanoid figure belonging to the Scandinavian folklore. Tomte was believed to be a caretaker of a farmer's family and children who were at home and kept them secure from the misfortunes, particularly at night. Towards the southernmost Sweden, Nisse is the common term used in Norweigian, Danish and the Scanian dialects. All the other names such as Tuftekall, Tomtegubbe or Haugebonde are connected to the origin of this character.
Tomte or Nisse is usually an elderly man, whose size varies from a few inches to about half the height of a normal man. He is bearded and is dressed in casual clothing, like the farmers. It is also believed that he can change shape at will. On the other hand, there are also tales according to which, he has a single, cyclopean eye, four fingers and pointed ears. At the same time, in Denmark you will find these Nisses to be beardless, wearing grey and red woolen clothes with a red cap.