The Legend of the Edelweiss

The Edelweiss is one of the symbols of Switzerland, and also of other alpine countries such as Austria. It is a rare flower that grows at high altitudes. The Edelweiss has therefore given rise to many legends. This is one of my favourites:

In the country of eternal snows, lived a white lady: the Queen of Snows.  She was surrounded by many small wights, who were in charge of her protection. Armed with spears of crystal, they protected their queen from the intrusion of stranger folk and those who might do her harm.

When a hunter or an imprudent mountaineer approached the beautiful lady, she was often pleased by the visit, and she would encourage him with her smiles and her eyes to join her. Fascinated by the gentle eyes of the beautiful lady, the mountaineer forgets the danger and continues to climb…and he climbs higher and higher with the hope of seeing more closely this beautiful face.

Confronted by this apparent danger, the wights take to their spears and push back the suitor until he falls into a precipice.

The white lady at the sight of that horrible spectacle began to cry; the tears then ran along the glacier and flowed to the pastures, and when arriving near the rocks, they changed into Edelweiss.

Seb AOR of Edelweiss Hama


9 replies
  1. Sam AOR says:

    Thank you for this interesting piece Seb, it is always fascinating to read about our lore, and it is of course essential that we work to ensure it is passed on to our children and the rest of our Folk. Keep it up!

    Sam FFF

  2. Andy R says:

    Thank you. I never knew anything about Edelweiss outside what “The Sound of Music” taught me!!!

    Reminds me a little of the Welsh legend of the flower-woman, Bloddhuhed.

  3. Scott says:

    I was not familiar with that edelweiss legend. The one that I know says that no girl has to listen to a man’s suit until he has shewn his pluck by retrieving a sprig of Edelweiss from the highest peak and offering it to her as a token of love. There’s an entire opera based on this premise, Eden and Somerville’s “The Mountaineers.” A great opera and with a beautiful story and setting.
    Thanks for sharing this other story.

  4. John says:

    All families have a tail to tell and there is always some truth to a tail. For every person who was had an experience, they experienced it differently than others, so their tails may be different but still fermiliar.

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