February 26th is tell a Fairy Tale Day. This is an unofficial holiday that encourages parents to read fairy tales from around the world to their children. As long as there have been fairy tales there have been adaptations. I though it would be the perfect time to share some interesting fairy tale facts:
- Hansel & Gretel is based on a period of famine where people really did lead their kids into the woods and leave them there because they couldn’t feed them.
- In the French version of Rapunzel, the story does not have a happy ending. Rapunzel is turned into a frog and the prince is cursed with a pig’s snout.
- In the French Cinderella, Cinderella forgives her stepsisters and finds good husbands for them.
- The oral tale on which Perrault based his 1697 version of “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge” (Little Red Riding Hood), is extremely disturbing. The wolf disguised as the grandmother, gets the little girl to strip off each article of clothing at a time before inviting her to join him in bed.
- The cruel stepmothers in Snow White and Hansel and Gretel were natural mothers in early editions.
I enjoy fairy tales and also enjoy finding out about their history and their original versions.