The Nisse is known as the Christmas gnome and these are Danish. This is a figure that originates from Scandanavian folklore with Finland, Norway and Sweden all having their own version of him such as the Tomten. Before Danish people had their own version of Santa Claus, they had either nisserfar, nisserkongen, or julenisse which translate to words such as Gnome Father, Gnome King and Christmas Gnome.
During the Christmas period, especially on Christmas Eve, they leave out risengrød (similar to rice pudding) which is a sweet rice porridge which would ensure that he would bring good luck to the household but if they did not then he would get upset and play tricks on them throughout the next year.
Danish Santa Claus
The Danish Santa Claus has been through a lot since his inception in the 16th century. He started out as just like any other julenisse, but after American culture took over and made some changes to him that are still seen today- he became known as “julemanden.” The elves also came about from this time period when they were converted into being nice little helpers for all those presents under everyone’s tree at Christmas time!
The julenisse tradition continues to this day and is still important during the December holiday season. Children will bring home a different and will have homework related to it so that they learn about this long tradition. Also, gnomes are still a big part of Christmas decorations and you will find them in all of the big and independent stores. They are like reindeers and elves are a big part of American and UK Christmas decorations, for example.
What is a Danish gnome called?
The Danes have a special place in their hearts for gnomes. They refer to these little beings as nisser and they love them just the way you would expect: with pointy red hats, big bushy beards (like Santa Claus), small stature but mighty tricks up its sleeve!
What are Swedish Gnomes Called?
Swedish gnomes are called Tomte and you can find out more about them in our article here.
Are Gnomes Danish?
Gnomes are considered to have originated in Germany (some people also think that a version of gnomes was used in ancient Rome) and then spread throughout Europe after this. However, the Nisse, which is slightly different, comes from Scandinavian mythology and the different countries have their own version of the Nisse.
Is Nisse Real?
No, Nisse is not real but a figure from Scandinavian mythology. It is most often related to winter and, in particular, the Christmas season and each country in this region of the world has their own version of Nisse.