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St. Andrew's Night - Tradition of Fortune Telling Nov 30

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  • Adrienne R. Ferrell
    Tomorrow s St Andrew s day, I thought this may be of interest. sincerely, Seraphina copied from http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art424.asp There is a long
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2003
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      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
      his face.

      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.
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