According to folklore, mischievous elf-like creatures known as nisse make themselves known especially around Christmas time. In the old days, nisse were protectors of a household or farmstead and helped farmers with small chores. They were temperamental though and could cause trouble if angered. To show respect and keep them in good spirits, the nisse were presented with a bowl of porridge with butter (Risengrød) on Christmas Eve. In modern times, nisse are still around– playing pranks and leaving small gifts for children during Advent.