Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Nymphs and Fairies

 Nymphs vs Fairies

Since ancient times, people have long believed in mythical creatures such as nymphs and fairies. These mythical creatures have amazing powers. However, most people get confused on distinguishing a nymph from a fairy, or vice versa. To know the differences and similarities between nymphs and fairies, read this article to find out.

Perhaps fairies are more popular than nymphs since whenever people tend to see beautiful, mythical creatures, they regard them as fairies when, in reality, they are nymphs. To differentiate a nymph from a fairy, nymphs are the size of humans. A nymph can also never be a male. The role of nymphs is always taken by very beautiful, adolescent females. Nymphs can be found in natural environments such as the water, the forest, the mountain, and the trees. So if you happen to see a young lady with magical powers in the woods, she may be a nymph protecting that area.

On the other hand, fairies are only the size of one’s thumb. But fairies can be either male or female. Usually, they live in flowering plants. Fairies were originally wingless but, as perceived by several people, fairies with wings become more popular than the wingless ones.

The word “nymph” comes from the Greek word “nymphe.” Nymphs have five classifications. They are: water nymphs, land nymphs, celestial nymphs, plant nymphs, and underworld nymphs. These nymphs are also different from goddesses. They are considered as divine spirits in association with nature. They are young and beautiful maidens who always love to sing and dance. If you are inside a forest, you may even hear them singing. Among the favorite dwelling places of nymphs are the springs, rivers, valleys, mountains, trees, groves, and grottoes.

Nymphs cannot die with old age and illness, but they can die from other causes. If nymphs mate with a god, they can have an immortal offspring. But since nymphs are not fully immortal, their offspring can also die. Though nymphs are different from gods, some gods take the form of nymphs as their retinue. The gods who took the form of nymphs are: Dionysus, Hermes, Pan, etc.

On the other hand, fairies are also called the creatures of fey. Like nymphs, fairies are mysterious creatures, and they possess magic. From culture to culture, people differently view the mystery that beholds the fairies. Based on today’s common perception, fairies are like genies. The most popular one would be the tooth fairy. If you place your fallen tooth under your pillow, a tooth fairy will grant your wish.

Today, fairies are regarded as benevolent and wise creatures. However, during ancient times, fairies were not regarded as kind, mythical beings. The people of the past thought fairies caused bad luck and were mischievous creatures. Fairies love to play games and are very tricky. In other words, fairies were once viewed as evil in existence. If you get lost in the woods, the fairies might be playing some trick on you. When there were famines, sickness, and missing children, people had blamed it on the fairies. Because of that, people devised materials that could drive the fairies away such as cold iron, rowan, and holy water. Fairies are said to be fallen angels, and they arise from the spirits of the dead, which is why people of the past viewed them as evil.

Summary:

  1. Nymphs are human-sized, mythical beings while fairies are thumb-sized.

  2. Nymphs can be found within nature like water, land, and mountains; while fairies can mostly be found in flowering plants.

  3. Fairies were once viewed as evil beings because they were the fallen angels or the ones who arose from the spirits of the dead.


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