A fairy (also fata, fay, fae, just person; faery, fairy, “kingdom of fays”) is a kind of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore (and particularly Celtic, Slavic, German, English and French folklore), a form of spirit often described as being described as metaphysical, supernatural or supernatural.
Fairy myths and stories don’t have a single origin, but they’re more of a collection of popular beliefs from disparate sources. Several popular theories about the origins of fairies include casting them as angels or degraded demons in a Christian tradition, as minor deities in pre-Christian pagan belief systems, such as the spirits of the dead, as precursors prehistoric human beings, or as an elementary.
The fairy tag is occasionally applied only to specific magical creatures with human appearance, short stature, magical powers, and a propensity to cheat. On other occasions, it has been used to describe any magical creature, such as goblins and gnomes. Fairy has occasionally been used as an adjective, with a meaning equivalent to “enchanted” or “magic”.
A recurring motif of fairy legends is the need to protect fairies using protective charms. Common examples of such charms include church bells, wearing clothing from the inside out, four-leaf clover and food. Fairies have also occasionally been thought of chasing specific places and taking travelers out of place using will-o’-the-wisps. Before the advent of modern medicine, disease fairies, particularly tuberculosis and birth deformities, were often blamed.
In addition to their popular origins, fairies were a common feature of Renaissance literature and romantic art and were especially popular in the UK during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The Celtic Renaissance also saw established fairies as a canonical part of Celtic cultural heritage.
Fairy images have appeared as illustrations, often in fairytale books, as well as in media and photo-based sculptures. Some artists known for their fairy performances include ACicely Mary Barker, Amy Brown, David Delamare, Meredith Dillman, Gustave Doré, Brian Froud, Warwick Goble, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Rebecca Guay, Florence Harrison, Kylie Ingold, Greta James, Alan Lee, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Myrea Pettit, Arthur Rackham, Suza Scalora and Nene Thomas.
The fairy gates of Ann Arbor, MI are small doors installed in local buildings. Local children believe that these are the doors of fairy houses, and in some cases, small furniture, dishes, and various other things can be seen beyond the gates.
The Victorian era was particularly known for her fairy paintings. The Victorian painter Richard Dadd created fairy paintings with a sinister and evil tone. Other Victorian artists who portrayed fairies include John Anster Fitzgerald, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Daniel Maclise and Joseph Noel Paton. Interest in fairy-themed art enjoyed a brief renaissance after the publication of Cottingley fairy photographs in 1917, and various artists resorted to painting fairy themes.