Holda (or Holla)

Holda (or Holla)

in German mythology, was originally a friendly goddess of the ancient heathen Germans, probably the one mentioned by. Tacitus, and compared with Isis. The name is derived from the German hold, or huld, "mild." After the introduction of Christianity the goddess became a spectre, but still with friendly rather than threatening attributes. The myths about her are nowhere so spread as in Hesse and Thuringia. The popular belief in Holda (Freau Holle) is spread over the Rhone into Northern France and Lower Saxony. She is represented as a heavenly being, encircling the earth; when it snows she makes her bed so that the feathers fly. She enjoys seas and wells; at noon she is seen bathing and disappearing in the stream. Mortals reach her dwelling through a well. Her yearly procession on Christmnas is supposed to bring fruitfulness to the country, but she also rides with the furious army, or leads it. She loves music, but her song has a sorrowful tone.

Definition of hold

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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