Christmas Divinations, Beliefs & Myths
These are some Christmas divination superstitions that are said to affect people’ lives for good. Although many of these beliefs have been pushed aside in the modern times, there are still various sections of the society who follow and believe in them by the book.
From making a wish while stirring the Christmas pudding to shaking the elder tree for a suitor, these are some of the few Christmas superstitions that are believed by many around the world during the holiday season. Even if you don’t believe in them, they are quite entertaining.
In ancient Russia, girls would peel an onion and leave it under their pillows at night. They would chant a silent prayer and if they dreamt about a man at night, that man would become their future mate, even if they had never met him before. This sort of tradition was followed for Saint Thomas’ Eve, and young girls would eagerly wait to dream about their future partner.
Christmas morning, German women and girls divined about when they would get married, and followed a custom of tossing shoes over their shoulders. After the shoes would fall to the ground, the women would look if the toes of the shoes were pointing towards the door. This usually indicated that a happy change was about to take place and the woman would get married within a year. Of course, shoes pointing in any other direction were the harbingers of tough luck and delayed marriage.
Scotland is known for its premonitions and omens during the festive season. It is believed that, while baking Yule cakes, if a piece of cake falls to the floor, it would automatically mean that someone would fall sick in the family and would be injured in some sort of untoward incident. However, if the cake is too brittle, dry or breaks all together, it means that someone in the family was about to depart very soon.
If the fire in the fireplace is burning warm and bright, it would bring good luck and fortune for the following year. If however, the fire is dim and the peat falls away from the fire then someone from the family is bound to die within a year.
Christmas Eve is said to bring good luck to single, Swiss men if they drink the water from nine different wells before midnight. After doing so, they should run to the Church to see if their future love is waiting for them on the steps. This also brings good omens in the lives of these men for the upcoming year.
Shaking an Elder tree on Christmas Eve should ideally make a dog bark. If this happens, a single woman would find her suitor in the direction of the dog’s bark.
In medieval times, all the family members and guests at a Christmas dinner were offered an apple at the end of the dinner, which was then cut length-wise. If the core of the apple was star-shaped then the guests were sure of meeting safely the next year. If however, anybody’s core was a different shape, then that person’s death could be expected within a year.
In many countries, many family members put their shoes together on Christmas night, because it is believed that it will bring peace and harmony to the family.