Fortunetelling on St. Andrew’s Day
Young women and men gather in the early hours of Dec. 13 to find out who will marry them and when
Fortunetelling on the eve of St. Andrew’s Day is an ancient Ukrainian tradition. Young women and men gather in the early hours of Dec. 13 to find out who will marry them and when.
Everything is ready for this magical evening. Girls are starting to sing a traditional song. And then they start the ritual. The main question is “When’s the wedding?” Around a dozen items are under the scarf. Those items will give the answer.
These special evenings are part of an ancient Ukrainian tradition. On the eve of Saint Andrew’s Day, young people would prepare different treats, then gather at one table and have fun.
The main event of the evening is called ‘kalyta’, a sweet cake with cherries or raisins. Traditionally, people would hang it from the ceiling and try to bite pieces out of it. According to custom only young men are allowed to participate in this ritual. The one who succeeds is promised happiness all year round.
“Adults stay at home. The atmosphere is quiet. It’s the time of the pre-Christmas fast. They would choose a house where a housewife would supervise, as we have today. The youth gathered to connect. Well, what is communication without things like fortune telling?” head of folk art and folklore department, Inna Kuklina said.
In order to learn about the future you only need to light a candle and prepare a bowl of water. The next step is to drop melted wax into the water and wait until a figure appears. Whatever appears predicts your future. The most desired sign for young women is a wreath, because it symbolizes an upcoming wedding.
Fortunetelling is not only Ukrainian tradition. In the UK, people tell fortunes on Halloween. In one of the most popular rituals young ladies lay nuts or apples on the grate of a fireplace. Each one of them symbolizes a young man. The one who cracks first under fire will become her husband.