Pixies were known in folklore for bringing good tidings to the English countryside and for throwing festive garden parties with lots of music. In more modern times, their reputation has become one of mischief; they're said to lead travelers astray, stealing their horses and even children.
The tiny winged female creatures have appeared in tales for many centuries, but in 1824, Cornish author Samuel Drew sadly wrote of their end: "The age of pixies, like that of chivalry, is gone," he reported. "There is, perhaps, at present hardly a house they are reputed to visit. Even the fields and lanes which they formerly frequented seem to be nearly forsaken. Their music is rarely heard."
In reality, their legend has very much lived on.
Seek for yourself:Visit the town of Ottery St. Mary in East Devon to enjoy Pixie Day. Legend has it that the town was once occupied by pixies who believed every time the church bells rang, one of their kind would die. So they captured the town's bell ringers and imprisoned them in a cave by the river.
Local scout groups act out this story on the festive day, which also features stalls, live entertainment and a barbecue. Held on the Saturday closest to Mid-Summer's Day, the tradition is more than 500 years old.