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Barbara Rolek

Futures Told on St. Andrew's Day

By November 28, 2013

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Reading Wax Sghadows on St. Andrew's Day
Reading Wax Shadows on St. Andrew's Day
By Zuzia on Flickr
Andrzejki (ahn-DZHEY-kee) is St. Andrew's Day in Poland, and is celebrated on Nov. 30, but also on the eve of St. Andrew's, the 29th. It is the last chance to party before the fasting and the first day of Advent, which begins on the first Sunday closest to Nov. 30.

Years ago, young girls would pray to St. Andrew around midnight on Nov. 29 for a husband. They would make a wish and look for a sign that their prayers had been heard.

Fortune-telling methods at parties held on the eve of St. Andrew's Day include pouring hot wax through the hole in a key (symbolic of opening and closing secrets) into cold water and then divining the future mate's appearance, profession or nationality by reading the shapes from the shadows the wax pieces cast on a wall.

Another Andrzejki game involves unmarried young women arranging their shoes in a straight line one after the other starting at the back of a room. After all the shoes are lined up, the person at the end takes their shoe and puts it at the front of the line, and so on, until someone's shoe reaches the door. It's believed that the owner of the first shoe to cross the threshold will be the first one to get married.

Another Andrzejki game involves unmarried young women arranging their shoes in a straight line one after the other starting at the back of a room. After all the shoes are lined up, the person at the end takes their shoe and puts it at the front of the line, and so on, until someone's shoe reaches the door. It's believed that the owner of the first shoe to cross the threshold will be the first one to get married.

There are other fortune-telling methods involving walnuts, apple peels, pins and numerology. Special attention to dreams is paid on St. Andrews's eve because they are believed to foretell the future.

Traditionally, this holiday was only observed by single girls, but today, both young men and women join the party to see their futures and have a good excuse to party hearty!

Read more about Andrzejki and about the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.

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Comments

December 1, 2010 at 10:15 am
(1) Svetlana says:

Hi, Barbara. Very intresting information!

People in Bulgaria also celebrate St. Andrew’s Day on November 30. Lentils is cooked, as part of the Christmas fast menu. There is belief that the lentils will protect children from contracting chickenpox.

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