The story behind The Christmas Nisse goes way back and the history is beautiful. The Nisse have touch our heart's for 1000 of years and continue, and with an understanding of where he came from The Nisse and his joyful Christmas tradition will enchant the whole family.
According to Folklore, The Nisse is an old supernatural little fellow that was widespread in the Nordic countries before the advent of Christianity. The Nisse is usually described with a red hat and was believed to be a household guardian spirit that was responsible for the care and success of a farm or family.
Initially, The Nisse took an active interest in the farm by performing chores such as grooming horses, carrying bales of hay, and other farm-related tasks. These chores were usually done much more efficiently and effectively than by their human counterparts. However, Nisses have a temper, to say the least. If the household was not careful to keep it's Nisse satisfied, usually in the form of a bowl full of rise pudding with butter on the top, the spirit could turn against their masters.
In the 1840s, the farm's Nisse became the bearer of Christmas presents in Scandinavia and therefore called “Julenisse.” It has been associated with Christmas ever since.
The meaning behind the name of Nisse
The word ‘Nisse' is best known as the mischievous Christmas Nisse, however, it is also a personal name. Nisse is a noun formed from the name Nis, a cuddly version of the name Niels. Niels is a Danish development of the Saint named Nicolaus. Saint Nicolaus was a children’s saint and became known as Santa Clause during the 19th century.
The Christmas Nisse has many names in many languages. In Danish, it’s known as "Julenisse", in Swedish; "Jultomte", Norwegian it is "Julenisse", and lastly, in Finnish “Joulupukki.”
The Nisse still has features and traditions that are rooted in the local culture. For example he doesn't necessarily retreat to the North Pole but mostly in a forest, field or stream nearby. In Denmark The Nisse lives in Greenland and in Finland he lives in Lapland.