Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

Monday, 17 December 2012

New Year fortune telling

There are also a lot of rituals for people, mostly girls, who want to know their future for the next year. Girls in the old times mainly wanted to know about their marriage (apparently this is still the case!). According to tradition, the night of old New Year's Day, 13th January, gives the most truthful predictions.

Wax: This involves melting wax and pouring it onto water. It will solidify into a shape. From this shape, you must judge your future. If it is a house, you will live well this year. If circles, you will have good fortune. If some kind of fruit or animal, you will have good health. If it is a man, then you know what that means! 

Paper: Screw up some paper, put it on a tray and set fire to it. When it stops burning, lift the tray to a wall in front of some light. The shadow of the burnt paper should cast a shape onto the wall. You can predict the coming year’s luck from the shape of this shadow.

King of Diamonds: Take a deck of playing cards and remove the King of Diamonds. Put it under your pillow on a night between 6th-13th December and you will dream of your future husband(s)!

Onions: A group of girls take an onion each. Each girl plants her onion in the ground, somewhere she will remember. The girl whose onion first grows roots will be the first to marry.

Lucky Dip: Take a golden ring, a loaf of bread and a hook. Lay them on a table and cover them with cloth. Then pick an object without looking. If you choose the ring, your husband will be vain. If the bread, your husband will be rich. If you get the hook, your future husband will be poor.

Banya: Considered the most frightening and bewitching ceremony of olde. You have to be alone for this and it is considered the most accurate of all. There must be no light in the Banya (Russian bath-house) apart from your candle. Take a mirror (or two) and place it on a table. Put the candle in front of the mirror. Sit in front of the mirror and stare at your reflection for a long time - a very long time. It is said that you will envision your future in the mirror. It is believed that if a girl sees her coffin then she will die the same year. Not surprisingly, it is normally the future husband who appears in front of her eyes! 

Stories round the fire: It is nice to huddle round with family or friends and read folk tales in the winter months. The scene at the top of the page comes out of the first series of Gogol’s "Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka" - a collection of tales based on Ukrainian folklore published in 1832. In the story "The Night Before Christmas," the main character is Vakula, who is a messenger of sorts between the world of good and evil. Vakula is the man on the devil's back and they are on their way to Catherine II's court. The priest is knocking at the door of Chub and Solokha.


  1. Future reading rituals

    The ability to foretell the future is not proven scientifically, but who care anyway? During two weeks after January 7th Russia is invaded by spirits that help you read your next steps in life. The following rituals are followed mostly by girls (especially teenagers and university students), but everyone is invited to join in. Do you want to know your future? Then check this out!

    Stealing a log: go to a stranger’s house, to the place where they store wood and steal a piece. Look at the features and quality of the wood, because that reflects the traits of your big love: age, social status, education,… yes, you can learn all that observing carefully a stolen piece of wood!

    Do you want to know the name of the person you’re going to get married with? Then get ready for this: bake a pie, take a piece, put it under your clothes, run to the street and ask the name from the first person you see… and you’ll get married with someone that has the same name. Wow! And what about the pie? Well, depends on the region in Russia you perform this ritual: sometimes they give pie to the stranger, and sometimes they don’t. Actually, in some places the person you give the pie to is supposed to have the same eye colour as your love…

    Do you want to read your future about your love, family, money…? Then nothing as easy as burning a candle and dropping the melted wax on cold water: the shapes this wax forms will give you clues into your future, like for example the face of your future love (yes, always “your future love”. Now you understand why this foretelling is so popular among teenage girls), the size of your house, the money you’ll earn…

  2. Epiphany Fortune Telling is an ancient tradition for Russian girls.

    Svyatki are two weeks of winter holidays in Russia, from Christmas Eve on January 6 until Epiphany, celebrated on January 19.

    Fortune-telling and predictions these days are the most truthful, because their roots are in times of pagan Russia. They have an ancient history, and this means that the people trusted them, passing from generation to generation different methods of love predictions for young girls.

    Before the adoption of Christianity, Svyatki took the name from the God of heaven — Belbog (white God) or Svyatovit according to one version, and from the ancient word «Sviatki» which means «dead souls» according to the other versions. With the arrival of Orthodoxy in Russia all predictions became known sin, but people have not stopped to believe them so far, and the tradition has not died — every year on the eve of Epiphany on January 19 girls are trying to learn their fate in their personal lives, where will they find their happiness and real love, are feelings of their boyfriends and grooms sincere or not?

    Love predictions are eternal and most popular theme in the traditions of all times and people. Russian girls did love predictions always. For some time in Russia predictions about love was even mandatory for all unmarried girls. It is believed that on the eve of Epiphany souls of dead people tell the truth and help in predictions about love, pass appropriate information to the closed world and back.

    But what psychologists think about this tradition? «Of course, many people believe that their thoughts during Svyatki will become a reality» — they say. «And their faith was not born without reasons. In fact, in the early days of the new year people feel like a new start, when all forces are mobilized, all thoughts are focused on the main goal and desire to win. Our ancestors were not naive when they were expecting something magical during Svyatki time».

    Mypoppet wishes to all the girls get a prediction of a happy future and great love! But do not forget, dear guys, regardless of the results of love prediction and other things — your happiness is in your own hands! We wish you good luck!

  3. Girls burn equally long threads of string and the owner of the fastest burning thread is supposed to be the first one to get married. Another traditional technique is quite satiating: one can tell the future by eating vareniki (stuffed dumplings). A few small meaningful objects are put into the vareniki whilst being cooked. A coin means money and future wealth, tomatoes foretell love, and a thread predicts future travel. Another variation is to hide copper, silver and golden rings into a pile of grain. Each girl takes a handful of it and if she gets a ring, she will get married in the coming year. The type of the metal reveals whether a future husband is going to be rich or poor.
    To find out more about their future husbands, a rooster is used: plates with different fillings in them are put in front of the rooster, and whichever plate the roost picks, characterizes the future spouse. For example, if the rooster picks a plate with grain or money in it, the husband will be rich; if a plate with water, a drunkard; a plate with a mirror on it, someone handsome and tender. Another simple and wide-spread fortune-telling tradition is throwing a boot over the gate: by the direction the boot points, the girls learned where a future husband would come from. To complete “husband profiles,” the girls go outside and ask the first person they meet for their names, believing that those would be the names of their future spouses.
    To get an idea of what their marriage would be like, the girls lean against neighbours’ windows and listen in on any conversation. Depending on whether the conversation they overhear is joyful or sad, the girls can establish what they should expect in their family life. If they heard such words as “Don’t hurry, wait, sit down, it’s still early”, it means that a marriage will definitely not happen that coming year. But if the neighbours say something like “It’s time to go”, this is accepted as a positive sign about an upcoming marriage.


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