29 Nov, 2010
Are you celebrating Andrzejki?
Posted by: Michał In: so very Polish
You probably are if you live in Scotland. It’s called St Andrew’s Day. But in Poland it’s not so much about the saint, it’s more about predictions and parties.
Andrzejki, how the day is referred to (from Andrzej, which is the Polish equivalent of Andrew), is when everybody predicts their future by observing some fun customs like pouring hot wax on cold water or moving girls’ shoes from one end of the room to the door. Why wax and why the shoes, you ask? Let me explain.
Traditionally, single girls used the day to predict when they would get married or what they could expect in the coming months. With time, this tradition was adopted by men too and for decades now Andrzejki has simply been a good excuse for a party (even mid-week).
The most popular and the most traditional way of predicting the future on Andrzejki is by melting a lot of wax and then pouring it (ideally through an old-fashioned key) onto cold water. This needs to be done carefully so that the wax forms one solid ‘shape’. You then remove the ‘shape’ from the water (once the wax has solidified, that is) and – using a strong source of light – look at the shadow it throws on the wall.
And this is when you need to use your imagination. You need to ‘read’ the shadow. Is it a man? Is it a pig? Is it a baby? Is it a monster? Whatever it is, this is your future (apparently).
Another custom involves single girls only. They each need to take a shoe off and place it in a row, starting by the wall opposite the main door. Then the last shoe is brought to the front and then the next one and so on. The owner of the shoe which reaches the door first will definitely get married next year. Guaranteed. Or your money back.
Whatever the future holds, tonight is the night. Have a ball!
Image by bildungsr0man via Flickr, Creative Commons licence
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