Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Thimble, Salt, A Candle, & A Mirror


European immigrants poured into our county in the 1800’s and the 1900’s, and brought their Halloween customs with them. For many, harvest was a last ditch effort for young maidens to find a husband. This is the strangest and funniest custom I have read.

At midnight on Halloween, the unmarried lady would walk upstairs BACKWARD. She carried a lighted candle, a thimble full of salt, and a mirror. She counted the strands of her hair as she went (with what free hands?!) At the top landing, she  swallowed the salt, and looked over her left shoulder into the mirror. If no male face stared back at her, she would not marry till next Halloween.


“After the dead are raised up, we’re past the marriage business. As it is with angels now, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God.” 

Mark 12

19 comments:

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

That sound a but dicey

Nancy Chan said...

Swallowed a thimble full of salt? That is a lot of salt to swallow! What a strange custom.

Ann said...

That is a strange one. I wonder how many young ladies tripped going up the stairs backwards trying to carry all that stuff and count the strands of hair.

crafty cat corner said...

Good job I do not have to do this, I could see it being a disaster, I have a job coming down the stairs front ways these days, lol
Briony
x

Sandi said...

"At midnight on Halloween, the unmarried lady would walk upstairs BACKWARD. She carried a lighted candle, a thimble full of salt, and a mirror. She counted the strands of her hair as she went (with what free hands?!) At the top landing, she swallowed the salt, and looked over her left shoulder into the mirror..."


People had a lot of free time back then.

Something tells me our free time wasted staring at phones is a big improvement on walking upstairs backwards in the dark while counting hair.

;-)




MadSnapper said...

this is all new to me, and I am thinking most of them fell down the stairs and never married. LOL... you know I LOVE THE FLAMES because I DO!!!

Reanaclaire said...

Oh, this is something new I heard for the first time.. sounds kind of difficult to get married then, walking backwards on the stairs.. :)

Lois said...

Walking backward upstairs with a lighted candle. What could go wrong? A strange custom indeed.

Glad you liked my fairy door Ginny! There are lots of them on Amazon, so I hope you found one you liked.

George said...

Very interesting. I had not heard of this traditon before.

Tamago said...

That does sound very strange custom! It would be very difficult to walk upstairs backward..I would fall haha. And...if a male face stares back at me in the mirror at midnight, I would scream! :-):-)

Inger said...

I wonder how many maidens tripped causing houses to burn down.

Carla from The River said...

GOODNESS!!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Yikes! That sounds bizarre.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Holy Cow.... I had never read about that tradition before..... Interesting for sure!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Shug said...

Oh Geez.......Whew, I'm thankful that I found my sweetheart in a NORMAL way! lol. Don't you know that having to swallow the salt was enough to make you want to stay single. And what if when you looked in the mirror, you saw a face that you did not want to welcome. Interesting to know!!!

Kim@stuffcould.... said...

Oh dear if there was no man staring back at them. What traditions 😬

The Feminine Energy said...

Whoa... *haha*. How funny of a tradition! Every age has them but I had never heard this one. Thanks for sharing, Ginny. Lovingly, Andrea xoxo

Chatty Crone said...

Ginny - where do you find all this info?

DeniseinVA said...

Now that's fascinating :)

Sunday Sunset

 Though it doesn't look like it, these are in order of the setting sun. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to th...