Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Here we are, another Samhain and another outfit for me designed byJessica Galbraith who was possibly a little too generous with my figure. No red hair this year, black is only a dye job away.

A good old festival is Samhain. All the good breeding animals are mated, bonfires are lit and feasting, great feasting. Well it was back in the good old dark days before the killjoy religion got to it. So we had a few sacrifices, it was all good fun except if you were the chosen one. We had to assure the fertility for next year. Nice to see some celebrations endured, villagers were still dancing round a fire on the Bronze Age burial mound at Fortingall until early last century.

The Scots had a good custom. They would mark white stones to represent the revellers which were then thrown into the Halloween fire. They had to be retrieved later or evil was supposed to befall the person who could not find their stone. At another place the stones went into the ashes of the fire and left until morning. If they were displaced it spelt doom for the owner of the stone.

It's still a time for prophetic dreaming. Will I win Tattslotto, will the rodent finally be ratsacked, the face of my future husband (better than dreaming about the face of my past husband), what's the saddle cloth number of the Cup winner?

I'm still in favour of this custom. To denote a future love, hazelnuts would be given the name of a possible lover and placed in front of the fire. The lass would then recite, if you love me, pop and fly, and if you hate me burn and die. The first nut to pop would be the girls' likely suitor. There's a few nuts I'd like to see burn and die.

No need to carve a pumpkin into a lantern to ward off evil spirits, they turned up the minute the election was announced, a real trick or treat. My decorations are already up, the cockroach is in the bathroom (still) and the Halloween huntsman is swinging on the loungeroom curtains. Now that could be a fun game for midnight, I'll introduce them to each other.

Fun times but even better now.......... hmmmmmmmmmm candy, chocolate, gingerbread coated children. Oops got then and now mixed up for a moment.


Stegetronium said...

Isn't it -umm- Beltane? here in the southern hemisphere?

JahTeh said...

Mikhela, never let science get in the way of a good bonfire and besides with a good tail wind I can get the broom to the heart of witch country in an hour or two. (environmentally friendly flight if I don't eat onions)

Brian Hughes said...

"The Scots had a good custom. They would mark white stones to represent the revellers which were then thrown into the Halloween fire."

Er...actually that 'Scottish' custom used to happen here in Lancashire as well, right up until Victorian times. We called it Teanleas Night...don't know why, but basically it amounted to chucking white rocks into a bonfire, waiting for morning, and anyone who couldn't find their own was considered 'Fey'. Our local Teanleas field is now a shopping presinct...but it's called the Teanleas Centre in acknowledgement of its origins and the closer we get to Guy Fawkes night the more likely it is to become a bonfire.

Incidentally...part of the Samhain (or Teanleas) celebrations ended up as Guy Fawkes night; Guy Fawkes, as I've probably mentioned somewhere else, being hung, drawn and quartered rather than coming within twenty feet of a bongy.

I am a mine of information, half collpased, with fraying seams.

JahTeh said...

Hughes if anyone was half collpased it's you showing your fraying seams.
Now I have to go google Teanleas Night, bloody Lancashire.
By the way if you couldn't find your own rock, wouldn't that disqualify you as being 'fey'?

phil said...

Very interesting. Now, I must go out and round up the animals for mating. If they won't be rounded up, I'll throw rocks at them. Or take them to the nearest Westfield. Does that cover all eventualities?

Anonymous said...

good post.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

although it is Beltane in the southern hemisphere.
I like the posts I have missed, your a funny, lovely lady JT.

Have a great night.

Brian Hughes said...

There's not much on the net concerning Teanleas Night, to be honest...apart from a few academic sites that are far too thrust up their own elitist backsides to consider allowing ordinary plebs like us into their hallowed sanctuaries of knowledge.

However, the Teanleas Festival (along with the old Lancashire tradition of 'Lating the witches' (steady now) which, as ancient as it might be, I've personally never heard of, does feature towards the bottom of this article:

And if that doesn't send you to sleep, then a pumpkin brimming with whiskey will.

R.H. said...

The way to a woman's heart is to help her hang out the washing.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"The way to a woman's heart is to help her hang out the washing."

You an' me, we sweat an' strain
Body all achin' an' wracked wid pain,
Tote dat barge! Lif' dose Cottontails!
Git a little lucky an' we lands in bed.

R.H. said...

People can take my romantic tips or leave them squire, I've never had trouble landing in bed. The struggle has been to stay out.

R.H. said...

But I appreciate your joke, it's not bad.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"not bad"

Damning with faint praise, r. me ole h. I can handle that ... as the bishop said to the actress ... who was playing Barbara Windsor ... Hattie Jaques ... or Kenneth Williams even.

JahTeh said...

Phil you could always pop down to Canberra and set a light in any of the Liberal pumpkins.

Good to see you back Zoe.

Rh and M'Lord, for Christmas I'm sending you each one of my cottontails to hang up for Santa. They should hold enough loot to last til next Christmas.

R.H. said...

Thanks, but I don't have a room elegant enough.