Saturday, November 30, 2013

twain and churchill birthday

For 1000 years Scotland has observed the feast of St. Andrew,the patron saint of Scotland. Celebrations kick off Scotland's winter festival season, which includes the winter solstice, Hogmany (1 January) and Burns Day (25 January).

The Celts didn't simply sprout up in Scotland, they were pushed there. Ancient Celts emerged from Eastern Europe and made their way westward over time, fighting the entire way. The remnants of Celtic pagan rituals (mostly mating rites) are still practiced in honor of St. Andrew, probably not seriously, in many parts of Eastern Europe.

In Romania, the intercession of St. Andrew, the patron saint of travelers is invoked to ward off wolves, which are able to speak to humans on this day. Those hearing wolves speak soon die. Romanian girls who light their Easter candle over a fountain on this night will see the face of their future husband (or perhaps talking wolf) in the water below.

In some areas in Austria, young women would drink wine and then perform a spell, called Saint Andrew's prayer, while nude and kicking a straw bed. This was supposed to magically attract the future husband...(especially if her windowshade was open and she announced her intentions on Facebook. I suspect this works, although straw beds are not as plentiful as they once were.)

Divinations of a future spouse using molten wax or metal to depict the facial features or occupation or shoe size are likely as not to be successful on St. Andrew's day in Germany, Slovakia, Poland and parts of the Czech Republic.

If any of these rites are practiced by your family please let us know. We'd love to hear more.

Also on this day, once again we honor the joint celebrations of the birth of Sam Clemens and Winston Churchill. We have covered that territory earlier


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