Winter Faery Beings

For today’s post, I have decided to discuss some of the essential Fae beings that we associate with the Winter season.   I have decided to focus on faeries that are featured in Wintery fairytales and in enduring holiday folklore.   Some of the figures I will mention will not be officially deemed faeries, but they do have a bit of faery-like magic about them, hence their inclusion here!

Sugar Plum Faery

~The Sugar Plum Faery is an iconic part of The Nutcracker ballet.    One cannot disconnect Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker music from the holiday season.   But it was the use of Balanchine’s choreography that has made this ballet a yearly staple since the 1950s.   The Sugar Plum Faery part in the ballet has become one of the most memorable parts to dance in the show, outside of the main character of Clara of course.    The whole concept of sugar plums in general has become synonymous with the holiday season, not just because of this Faery, but also because of the famous line in Twas the Night Before Christmas.    


~Dwarves make appearances in both Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Snow White and Rose Red.   In the former, the seven dwarves serve as protectors of the Snow White character, giving her a home and loving her as a member of their family.   In the latter, the dwarf is evil having placed a horrible curse on two princes and even trying to kill the titular sisters!    Both versions of the dwarf have therefore been linked to the Winter season by these appearances in Winter fairytales.

Santa’s Elves

~The elves that help Santa each year in producing toys have made their species intrinsically linked to the season of Winter.    They are hardworking and lovable figures that help to spread joy and good cheer around the world each holiday season!

Santa Claus

~Okay, I know Santa Claus is not technically a faery being, but he is in many ways seen as the spirit of Christmas incarnate.    He is easily linked to other holiday folk figures and is possibly derived from older Pagan Gods, or at least this has been postulated by some scholars.   His magical ability to visit every house with children in one night shows he may have some control over space and time.   To me, this links him to the faery magic of control over liminality.   That is to say, faeries famously have the ability to alter time or the way it is perceived.   This is shown in folklore stating that within Faeryland time runs differently!


~Sometimes viewed as the anti-Santa, Krampus is a folk figure that is often called a type of Christmas demon.   Where Santa gives gifts to the good children, Krampus quite literally punishes the bad children!   His magical ability to find the naughty children seems to be linked directly to Santa and his ability to know who is naughty and nice.   Krampus has a wildness about him that can be seen as linked to figures of the wildwood, making him seem vaguely like a dark faery in my opinion.

Jack Frost

~Jack Frost is the folk hero that serves as the herald of the whole season of Winter itself!   The idea of him nipping at our noses is very common this time of the year.   In my opinion, he has a vaguely faery quality to him in his nature as a spirit of the season.

Snow Queen

~The Snow Queen is the titular character of the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale.   She is a magical faery woman or witch who uses her ice magic to control the spread of the Wintery weather each season.    In the tale, she is a villain who stole away the character of Kai, leaving his friend to search for him through the world (which seems to me to be an enchanted Faeryland) and through all of the seasons, until she finds him in the Snow Queen’s ice castle where it is Winter yet again!

~I hope that you have enjoyed this post.   Do you view these figures as faery-like?   Do you associate them with Winter?   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Further Reading

  • The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales 
  • The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey
  • The Snow Queen and Other Winter Tales (Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Collection)