Monday, December 29, 2014

First Footing:

New Year’s Superstition: First Footing  

People like passing on tips and tidbits designed to help keep them and their communities safe and healthy. This is especially true during specific times of years considered to be auspicious.
New Year’s Day, one such occasion, is fraught with superstitions of all shapes and sizes.

Here is one that was particularly interesting:

If you want to know what kind of year you are going to have, then you’d better pay attention to the first who to enter your home after the stroke of midnight. He will influence your coming year.   It is hoped that this person is perfect in every way: a head full of hair, good looking, and bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen, and some salt.

Some believe that blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before disaster brings down your house.

It is best if the first footer (sometimes called the "Lucky Bird") knocks at the door to be let in even if he has his own key. He will greet those inside and offer whatever tokens of luck he has brought with him. He ought to visit every room in the house and exit by a door other than the one he came through.

Important: everyone should stay home until after the he arrives. It is best to have the first door crossing be an inbound one.

Hope your first footed guest brings you prosperity this year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Poetry

 Night Snow by BaiJuyi

"I was surprised my quilt and pillow were cold,
I see that now the window's bright again.
Deep in the night, I know the snow is thick,
I sometimes hear the sound as bamboo snaps."

We Hope Your Winter Is Filled With Warmth, Joy & Wonder!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Eskimo Tears

A Winter Inuit Myth

retold by  S. E. Schlosser

Once long ago, Man went hunting along the water's edge for seals. To Man's delight, many seals were crowded together along the seashore. He would certainly bring home a great feast for Woman and Son. He crept cautiously towards the seals. The seals grew restless. Man slowed down. Suddenly, the seals began to slip into the water. Man was frantic. His feast was getting away. 

Then Man saw a single seal towards the back of the group. It was not moving as quickly as the others. Ah! Here was his prize. He imagined the pride on Woman's face, the joy in Son's eyes. Their bellies would be filled for many days from such a seal. 

Man crept towards the last seal. It did not see him, or so Man thought. Suddenly, it sprang away and slipped into the water. Man rose to his feet. He was filled with a strange emotion. He felt water begin to drip from his eyes. He touched his eyes and tasted the drops. Yes, they tasted like salty water. Strange choking sounds were coming from his mouth and chest. 

Son heard the cries of Man and called Woman. They ran to the seashore to find out what was wrong with Man. Woman and Son were alarmed to see water flowing out of Man's eyes. 

Man told them about the shore filled with seals. He told how he had hunted them, and how every seal had escaped his knife. As he spoke, water began to flow from the eyes of Woman and Son, and they cried with Man. In this way, people first learned to weep.
Later, Man and Son hunted a seal together. They killed it and used its skin to make snares for more seals.   

Story courtesy of American Folklore . Want to read about legendary Inuit creatures?