Frau Holle is a sprit of the woodland, lakes and ponds. A “spinster” and figure of reward and punishment.
She visits our dwellings during the winter months, often during the Twelve-Nights of Yule.
If the chores at home are not completed or if simple tasks are neglected, she appears as an ugly, old, disheveled witch with a fiery tongue and burning gaze. She will bestow chaos on the homestead.
If she finds that the home is orderly, that all tasks have been done, she appears as an ethereal figure dressed in flowing white. Frau Holle will then hand out gifts from her kitchen and garden – nuts and apples, fruits of the earth and baked goods.
Frau Holle has gone by many names in Germanic Mythology, including Mother Earth, Perchta, Odin’s Wife, Berchta, Frigg and several more.
The rolling fog is said to be the smoke from Frau Holle’s hearth. When she bakes, the whole sky turns red. On stormy evenings, bolts of lightening are known as Hollenzopf, “Holle’s braids,” revealing her long white hair.
In winter, she shakes her bedcovers and down pillows, filling the air with feathers which causes it to snow.