- Most regional collections report a belief that at midnight on Christmas Eve cattle kneel to welcome the Holy Child, and bees buzz, or hum the Hundredth Psalm (e.g. Harland and Wilkinson, 1882: 253). During this night *cocks crow, and 'the powers of darkness can have no evil influence on mankind' (Udal, 1922: 51; cf. Hamlet i. i).Babies born on Christmas Day are fortunate, either in general, or because they cannot be drowned or hanged, or cannot see ghosts and spirits. Brand (1849: i. 478-80) quotes a long poem from a manuscript of c.1525 setting out for each day of the week what it will mean if Christmas falls on that day, as regards the weather and events of the coming year, and the destiny of children born on that Christmas Day. It was also an appropriate time for *divin-ations, though less so than the *New Year; in 19th-century Yorkshire a girl who had been kissed under the mistletoe would take a berry and a leaf to her room, swallow the berry, prick the man's initials on to the leaf, and stitch it inside her corset to keep him true (Blakeborough, 1898: 69).Some New Year beliefs applied to Chrismas Day too, including the taboo on taking *fire out of the house or borrowing from neighbours, and the custom of *first footing, especially in Herefordshire (Leather, 1912: 108-9). Many households 'let Christmas in' by opening doors early in the morning and saying 'Welcome, Father Christmas' or the like. A handful of sources call it unlucky to bring new shoes, or new leather into the house (Opie and Tatem, 1989: 230, 350). More common, from the mid-19th century to the present, is the idea that you will have as many happy months in the coming year as you eat mince-pies - in different houses, most say (Opie and Tatem, 1989: 248-9).See also *ashen faggot.■ Opie and Tatem, 1989: 74-8.
A Dictionary of English folklore. Jacqueline Simpson & Steve Roud. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
Christmas tree — For other uses, see Christmas tree (disambiguation). A lit up Christmas Tree with ornaments  The Christmas tree, also known as a Yule tree, is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real o … Wikipedia
Christmas — By far the most popular festival in England today, imposing itself even on those whose religious or political beliefs would normally rule out Christian celebrations; the greatest pressure is to conform for the sake of the children, who are… … A Dictionary of English folklore
superstitions — Some recent folklorists shun the term superstition as being too pejorative, preferring the less value laden belief . This, however, is too broad a term and, for convenience, we have kept the older word, emboldened by the fact that it is… … A Dictionary of English folklore
Father Christmas — For the song by The Kinks, see Father Christmas (song). For the book by Raymond Briggs, see Father Christmas (graphic novel). For the animated film based on the book by Raymond Briggs, see Father Christmas (1991 film). Excerpt from Josiah King s… … Wikipedia
\@Vampire Mythology: Bibliography — [↑] @Vampire Mythology Abbott, George Frederick. Macedonian Folklore. Cambridge, MA: University Press, 1903. Abrahams, Roger D. The ManofWords in the West Indies: Performance and the Emergence of Creole Culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins… … Encyclopedia of vampire mythology
Slavic mythology — is the mythological aspect of the polytheistic religion that was practised by the Slavs before Christianisation. The religion possesses many common traits with other religions descended from the Proto Indo European religion. Zbruch Idol. Contents … Wikipedia
Culture of Malta — The culture of Malta is the culture of the Maltese islanders and reflects various societies that have come into contact with the Maltese Islands throughout the centuries, including neighbouring Mediterranean cultures, and the cultures of the… … Wikipedia
Presentation of Jesus at the Temple — This article is about the Christian holiday. For other uses, see Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (disambiguation). The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple Presentation of Christ at the Temple by Hans Holbein the Elder, 1500–01 (Kunsthalle,… … Wikipedia
Holda — In Germanic folklore as established by Jacob Grimm, [Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie 4th ed., Elard H. Meyer, ed. (Gütersloh) 1876 77, I:220ff.] Frau Holda or Holle is the supernatural matron of spinning, childbirth and domestic animals, and is also… … Wikipedia
The Holly and the Ivy — is a traditional Christmas carol, which is among the most lightly Christianized carols of the Yuletide mdash;the holly and the ivy being among the most familiar Druidic plants Fact|date=November 2007. Holly and ivy have been the mainstay of… … Wikipedia