Questions tagged [british]

For questions on the local folklore, myths, and legends found in Britain.

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8
votes
2answers
173 views

Why is it lucky to touch or knock on wood?

According to Project Britain's British Life and Culture it is lucky to touch wood: Lucky to touch wood. We touch; knock on wood, to make something come true. Where does this superstition come ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

Why you should never buy a broom or wash blankets in May?

According to Project Britain's folklore calendar buying a broom or washing blankets in May should be avoided: Never buy a broom in May or wash blankets. Wash a blanket in May. Wash a dear ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Is there any mention of human sacrifice in the mythologies of Britain of the period before advent of Christianity?

In the mythologies that are there for the period in Scotland and England before the advent of Christianity, is there any mention of any practice of human sacrifice for religious rituals?
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Was there any figure considered to be evil in iron age Celtic paganism religion of England?

Before Christianization the Celts of England had a pagan religion. Was there any figure in that religion which was considered to be evil?
5
votes
0answers
268 views

Where does the personification of the River Thames as Old Father Thames originate?

I'v been doing some light research into the figure of Old Father Thames, he appears as the personification on the River Thames through the 18th to 20th centuries but seems to have lost popularity ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Arthurian legend English and French sources

Is it true, that most of early Arthurian books were written outside Britain, mostly in France? Why? As a proof, here is quote from William Caxton's preface to Le Morte d'Arthur, published in 1485: ...
5
votes
2answers
398 views

Revenants in mythology of the British Isles?

In his series, "Song of Ice and Fire", George R.R. Martin re-imagines a War of the Roses era-Britain where the British Isle is greatly enlarged and the continent compressed. He creates a history that ...
16
votes
1answer
250 views

Is there a connection between the use of the metaphor “black dog” for depression and the black dog of British folklore?

"The black dog" has been used as a metaphor for depression or sulking since at least 1790. Today it is used to denote depression and sometimes a broader range of mental illnesses. For example, in ...
18
votes
1answer
870 views

Who was Arthur's sword, Excalibur, returned to?

Most versions of the Arthurian legend relates that, after the Battle of Camlann, a dying King Arthur ordered a surviving knight - usually Sir Griflet or Sir Bedivere - to dispose of Excalibur in a ...
8
votes
1answer
145 views

Does anything in the Matter of Britain ever explain or otherwise address Stonehenge?

Is there anything in the Matter of Britain (or, if I'm using that term wrong, medieval British mythology in general) that discusses Stonehenge? I'm curious, given how Stonehenge has captured the ...
22
votes
1answer
670 views

Do Welsh fairies marry human women?

The Welsh Tylwyth Teg, or fairies, is said to take human mates. This website mentions how: There are many tales of intermarriage between faeries and humans, and advice on how to make sure you ...