St. Andrew's Night - Tradition of Fortune Telling Nov 30
- Tomorrow's St Andrew's day, I thought this may be of interest.
copied from http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art424.asp
There is a long tradition of fortune telling especially for non-married
girls on the November 30th in Poland. We need to remember that every day
has his patrons in Polish calendar. Since November 30th is a day under a
patronage of St. Andrew this habit is fortune telling is called St.
Andrew´s Night, in Polish briefly Andrzejki. Similar tradition is
celebrated by girls in Germany, Slovakia, Czech, Russia, Romania, Ukraine
and even in Greece.
Pouring hot melted wax (in the past also melted tin or lead) through a key
into a bawl of cold water. Hardened wax is held up to the light and the
future is guessed from its shadow cast on the wall. The lights are usually
off (except the light of the candle). It not only help to read from the
shadow but also helps to keep an unusual atmosphere of this evening. The
shape of the shadow is observed from different angles and the future of the
girl (especially her marital future is guessed from it). In the past not a
usual key was used to this ritual but a key from door in the church was the
Preparing pieces of paper with men names on the edges of the bowl. The bowl
is filled with water with a candle floating in the middle of the bowl. The
first burn paper piece indicates the name of the future husband.
Another ritual - preparing three cups flipped upside down to cover marriage
ring, small cross and a piece of green plant. The girls were choosing one
cup and it indicated their future fate- the ring of course signified the
marriage, cross - life as a nun in monastery and the green plant was
predicting the unmarried life. Sometimes the small doll was placed under
the cap - a symbol of the illegitimate child.
When the dusk came you should listen to the dog bark - from this direction
the future husband will come.
Another tradition was to toss the shoes. Shoes of all the girls are
arranged one after another along the wall and moved gradually in the same
order to the door. The girl whose shoe would first cross the doorstep would
be married first.
Maids were also predicting their future from cherry twig. If the cherry
branch blossomed until Christmas it would suggest marriage soon. If it
blossomed after Christmas a girl had to wait for marriage longer. If it did
not blossom but dried out - it predicted the spinsterhood. Some believe
that one should check in the calendar the name of the patron in the day
when the cherry blossomed - this name could be the name of the future husband.
The other belief - the husband could appear in a dream in St. Andrew night.
Or look at the water reflection in well or in the mirror at midnight to see
Presently people do not take seriously the fortune-telling in St. Andrew
Day but this day is still celebrated because of Andrzejki´s fortune telling
and because it is a namesday for all Andrews in Poland. Andrew is
definitively one of the most common man names.