jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

Lover in the Mirror

Where I grew up they did not celebrate Halloween really, it's more of an American and European tradition that was lost on us.  
 That is one of the reasons I am so happy to live in the United states today! 

There is such a large community of people with strong Irish-heritage here that all the traditional legends and folklore are alive and well in our modern oral tradition.

 I love everything to do with Halloween from the origin legends  to the little kids dressing up like ghosts and the dogs dressed as hot dogs.

Halloween postcards were nearly as popular as Christmas cards for the first few decades of the 20th century, and probably vanished when the telephone came into popular use.

Many show legends and sayings that were popular at the time, that are rooted in Irish and Scotch folklore. 

For example these postcards illustrate the belief that if an apple is peeled in a continuous ribbon and thrown behind a woman's shoulder, it will land in the shape of her future husband's initials:

One of the most popular forms of Halloween fortune-telling, was to look into a mirror by candlelight in order to see the face of your future lover reflected in the glass.

If you wanted to take this method up a notch you could practice the same technique yet while simultaneously walking down the stairs backwards at midnight (somewhat treacherous especially by candle-light!)

Below, Mr. Pumpkinhead is attempting one of the more esoteric forms of Halloween divination, in which a clue of blue yarn was thrown into a lime kiln, a rhyme recited, and the voice of one's future intended would then answer from the depths of the kiln:

This card illustrates a little known Halloween ritual in which a wet shirt placed before a fire would lure the "fetch" one's future intended to appear and turn the wet side towards the fire:

This woman is trying her luck with the "luggie bowls"; each bowl has a different liquid in it, and her fate will be read from the one she chooses while blindfolded.

And finally, my personal favourite: picking a straw out of a haystack and reading it to see whether you will still be a virgin on your wedding day!

For more information and images, check out Lisa Morton's website where you can purchase her new book; A Hallowe’en Anthology.

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