It is sometimes amazing to see how the most ancient tales and legends seem to have survived the era of rationality and industrialization. Even in those countries that first industrialized in the 19th century, certain customs and traditions today echo more ancient, sometimes even pre-Christian, beliefs rooted in peasant lore. It is customary in every French village, for example, to light fires on St. John’s day, June 21, legacy of an ancient Celtic festival celebrating the return of summer. This is also what I was thinking when I read this article on Icelanders’ apparently widespread belief in the existence of elves and other mythical creatures.