British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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400                                      HALLOW EVE.                           [OCT. 31.
5. Take a candle and go alone to a looking-glass, eat an apple before it, and, some traditions say you should comb your hair all the time, the face of your conjugal companion to be will be seen in the glass as if peeping over your shoulder.
6.  Steal out unperceived and sow a handful of hempseed, harrowing it with anything you can conveniently draw after you. Eepeat now and then, " Hempseed I sow thee ; hemp-seed, I sow thee; and him (or her) that is to be my true love come after me and pou thee,'' Look over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance of the person invoked in the attitude of pulling hemp. Some traditions say, " Come after me, and show thee," that is show thyself, in which case it simply appears. Others omit the harrowing, and say, 11 Come after me and harrow thee."
7.  To win three wechts o' naething. This charm must likewise be performed unperceived and alone, you go ta the barn, and open both doors, taking them off the hinges if possible; for there is danger that they, being about to appear, may shut the doors and do you some mischief. Then take that instrument used in winnowing the corn, which in our dialect is called a wecht; and go through all the attitudes of letting down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times; and the third time an apparition will pass through the barn, in it at the windy door and out at the other, having both the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue marking the employment or station in life.
8.  Take an opportunity of going unnoticed to a bean-stack, and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appearance of your future conjugal yoke-fellow.
9.  You go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to a south running spring or rivulet, where three lairds' lands meet, and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a lire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to dry. Lie awake, and sometime near midnight an apparition, having an exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleeve as if to dry the other side of it.
10.  Take three dishes, put clean water in one, foul water in another, leave the third empty; blindfold a person, and
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