We all know that a tooth fairy visits when a child loses a tooth in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Do you know that this is a common tradition in many other countries? Moreover, tooth fairy traditions around the world are all slightly different. The mythical being has many names. In some countries, the tooth is not always placed under a pillow. Nevertheless, the child always anticipates a gift or good fortune.
A Mythical Leprechaun Girl
The most common tooth fairy legend started in Ireland with a leprechaun girl. A mischievous girl lost a tooth while she was playing in the forest. Anna Bogle sought to replace her tooth with a human child’s tooth. The leprechaun girl left a piece of gold in exchange for a child’s tooth.
A Mouse and Good Fortune
In many Hispanic cultures, a mouse will take the missing tooth from the child. The mouse may leave money or a gift. Ratoncito Perez will drink a glass of water if he is thirsty. The gift will be left in the empty glass. This tradition is common in Spain, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. In France, a tiny mouse will leave a sweet treat in exchange for a child’s tooth. Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese children throw their teeth. The upper teeth are thrown onto the roof, and the lower teeth are dropped on the floor. The children wish for the tooth of a mouse. Mice have teeth that are continually growing. Throwing a tooth is also common in some Middle Eastern countries. Many tooth fairy traditions around the world have been practiced for centuries.
Teeth in Slippers and Dog Treats
In South Africa, children put their missing teeth in a shoe. Mongolian children wrap their teeth in fat. The tooth is given to the dog. If the family does not have a dog, the tooth is buried next to a tree. The new tooth will have strong roots. Burying a tooth is also common in Turkey. The parents choose where to bury the tooth. The burial site symbolizes their wishes for their child’s future.
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