CHRISTMAS Superstitions

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CHRISTMAS Superstitions

Post  Admin on 10/31/2008, 8:16 pm

CHRISTMAS Superstitions

A Yule Log must not be bought and must be kept burning all night.

Christmas candles should be left burning until Christmas morning and should rest undisturbed from time of lighting until they are snuffed.

Look to the shadows cast by those gathered round the fire on Christmas night -- if any of these shades appears to lack a head that person will die within the year.

Difficulty lighting the fire on Christmas Day is particularly unwelcome, as this presages a bad year ahead.

Christmas cakes were usually eaten on Christmas Eve in the 19th century, though it was deemed most unlucky to cut into one (or any Christmas food) before that day dawned. A portion also had to be preserved until Christmas Day itself.

As many mince pies as you sample at different houses during the festive season, so you will have happy months in the year to come. Mince pies must not be cut, however, lest you cut your luck. None must be eaten before Christmas Eve nor after Twelfth Night.

If Christmas pudding is on the menu, then all present must take part in stirring it if the household is to prosper. Traditionally, one has to stir the mixture at least three times, seeing the bottom of the pot each time. Even tiny babies take their turn, with parents guiding a little one's hand on the spoon. Unmarried girls who forget to give the pudding its requisite stirs might as well forget about finding a husband in the upcoming year.

It's customary to make a wish while stirring Christmas pudding. Such wishes are kept secret until they come true - to speak them to anyone else jinxes them.

When making Christmas pudding, drop into a silver coin, a thimble, and a ring. He who is served the coin finds luck, he who retrieves the thimble brings himself prosperity, and he who comes up with the ring hastens a wedding in his family.

To find out who your future spouse will be, make a dumb cake at midnight on Christmas Eve. It is prepared in complete silence by one or more, with water, eggs, and salt is placed on the hearthstone with the upper surface of the cake pricked with the initials of one of those present. Provided the silence is unbroken, the future partner of the person indicated on the cake will appear and similarly prick his or her initials onto the cake. In some regions it is instead stipulated that a petitioner must walk backwards to their beds after eating the cooked cake, there to dream of her future spouse.

The doors of a home used to be flung open at midnight on Christmas Eve to let out any trapped evil spirits.

A Christmas candle left burning in the window all night guarantees the household's good luck in the coming year. If the candles goes out, it is bad luck.

The first member of the household to open the door on Christmas morning might well shout, Welcome, Old Father Christmas! to the empty street. In other homes, one might be expected to sweep the threshold with a broom to clear it of trouble.

Particularly good fortune will attach to the household if the first visitor on Christmas happens to be a dark-haired man. The arrival of a red-haired man is a bad omen, and it's utter catastrophe if the first foot is a woman.

First foots (the first Christmas visitor to your house) who bring evergreens (especially holly) or coal are prized for their thoughtfulness. When the first foot is a man, he should be welcomed with a drink and perhaps a bit to eat. A boy, however, should be given a coin or two. First foots often kiss all the women in the house.

It is very unlucky to send Christmas carolers away empty-handed, no matter how badly they sing. One could be a king in disguise. Offer food, a drink, or a bit of money.

Singing Christmas carols at any time other than during the festive season is unlucky.

Contrary to popular belief, wassailing has nothing to do with singing Christmas carols at people's houses and then getting drunk with them. Wassailing is the custom of honoring one's livestock and crops during the Christmas season in hope that this salute will increase yield in the coming year. Toasts are drunk to corn, cows, and fruit trees. Celebratory fires are lit in fields and cider drunk in barns and orchards while men shoot guns into the air to scare off evil spirits. A plum pudding might well be stuck on a cow's horn and the beast frightened into running until it tosses the pudding -- if the pudding falls forward, a good harvest is predicted, but if it falls backwards, the harvest will be poor.

In parts of Scotland at Christmas time, ale is poured into the waves to entice the deep to yield up her fishes in the coming year.

Stockings are hung by the chimney at Christmas, in remembrance of the largesse of St. Nicholas. Out of compassion he was said to have tossed three coins down the chimney of the home of three poor sisters. Each coin fell neatly into stockings left drying by the hearth. We therefore leave our stocking out in hopes that a similar bit of good fortune will befall us.

Dogs that howl on Christmas Eve will go mad before the end of the year.

It is unlucky to do any unnecessary work on Christmas Day. This day is deemed too holy for ordinary work.

Those born on Christmas day will never encounter a ghost, nor will they have anything to fear from spirits. They are also protected against death by drowning or hanging.

Mistletoe is considered lucky to hang in the house at Christmas. Mistletoe is not allowed to be used as a church decoration because it is associated with paganism.

It is good luck to kiss under the mistletoe. It is bad luck to deliberately to avoid doing this.

Take three leaves of holly and on them prick the initials of three of your admirers. On Christmas Eve place the leaves under your pillow, and it is said that the one whom you will marry will appear to you in a dream.

Sew nine holly-leaves on to your nighttime clothing, borrow a wedding ring and place it on the third finger of your left hand, and then go to bed. During the night, your future husband will appear to you in a vision.

Make a chain of holly, mistletoe and juniper, and tie an acorn between each link. You need to have 2 other girls to assist you. At midnight on Christmas Eve the 3 of you must go into a room where a fire is lit, lock the door, hang the key over the mantelpiece and open the window wide. Then wrap the chain, which you have made around a log and sprinkle it with oil, a few pinches of salt and some earth. The log and chain must be placed on the fire and all lights turned out. Each girl sits around the fire with a prayer-book upon her knees, opened at the marriage service. As soon as the chain has been burnt, it is said that each girl will see the vision of her future husband crossing the room. If such a vision does not appear to a girl, she will never marry; or if she sees a phantom, such as a skeleton, which causes fear, it is also taken to be a sign that she will remain a spinster.

Tie a sprig of holly to each leg of your bedstead, and before you go to bed eat a roasted apple. Your future partner in marriage will come and speak to you in your dreams.

The yule log should be lit by a piece of the log used on the previous Christmas. Once that is done, no evil spirit can then enter into the house. The remains of the Yule log were also considered lucky, and would be a protection against lightning or fire.

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