Puddings and porridge: The stories that inspired The Pixie and The Pudding!
Did you know that our beloved holiday show The Pixie and The Pudding is loosely based on stories from Scandinavian folklore?
When creating the story, we researched many of the different pixie characters from across the globe, and the tales that they were famous for, and decided that we wanted to create our own, unique, contemporary pixie to make the story relevant to today’s audiences – a twenty-first century pixie!
We thought we’d introduce you to some of the weird and wonderful Christmas traditions that helped bring Pixie to life! Haven’t seen the show yet? Click here to get your tickets for The Pixie and the Pudding, running until 29 January 2023!
A Pixie or a Nisse?
In ‘The Pixie and The Pudding’ the farm is looked after by a curios little Pixie, in colourful dungarees and with spiky hair. Pixies have long been apart of British folklore, and when creating the show Samantha Lane told the designer, Lyndie Wright, that she wanted a puppet that looked like it was about to attend The Glastonbury Festival. This means that the Pixie in our show looks quite a lot different from the “Cornish Piskies” you might have seen in fairy-tale books. If you ask us, we think our version is a lot cuter!
Travelling over to Scandinavia we find what the Danes and Norwegians call “Nisse” and the Swedes call “Tomte”. They are little creatures that live in the barn year-around, and just like the pixie in the story, it is their job to protect and look after the farm. Nisse are usually depicted as short, with long white beards, wearing traditional knitted jumpers and red hats. Not too dissimilar from a garden gnome, but don’t tell them that!
Christmas Pudding or Christmas Porridge?
If you ask the Pixie from our show what it needs in order to look after the animals on the farm and ensure a successful harvest, the answer is simple: A delicious Christmas pudding. Christmas puddings are traditionally served as part of Christmas dinner in the UK, and are sweet, round, and filled with dried fruit and spices.
The Nisse from the Scandinavian farms would rather have Christmas porridge or “Julegrøt”. This type of porridge is made from rice and milk and is enjoyed with lots of butter, sugar and cinnamon on top. If you don’t leave Julegrøt out for the Nisse on the night before Christmas (evening of 23rd December) the Nisse will, just like Pixie, get up to mischief and make farm-life quite a lot harder.
Did you know that in Norway and Denmark it’s tradition to eat Christmas porridge for lunch on December 24th? Before serving, someone hides an almond in the porridge. Whoever get’s the almond gets a prize, traditionally a marzipan pig!
Merry Christmas or God Jul?
In Scandinavia Christmas is celebrated on the evening of December 24th, a whole day earlier than in the UK! The children get up early, open their stockings and watch festive programs on TV. Depending on where you’re from you might enjoy a dinner of ribs, Christmas ham, meat balls, duck, or even fish. Everyone wishes each other a God Jul (Good Yule), Yule being the Germanic name for Winter Solstice.
Presents are opened last, after both dinner and dessert, can you imagine having to wait that long? Because gifts are opened in the evening, it’s not unusual for Father Christmas or “Julenissen” to make a visit and deliver them in person. We think we’d be quite starstruck if that ever happened to us!
We love holiday traditions, whether it’s a festive story, a walk you go on, something you eat, or a trip to Little Angel Theatre. Do you think you’ll incorporate any Scandinavian Christmas traditions next year?
Click here to get your tickets for The Pixie and the Pudding, running until 29 January 2023!