Christmas Eve is one of the most anticipated holidays for many Lithuanian families. It evolves around dinner and night time rituals, including future telling and putting spells for love and luck. We spoke about traditional Christmas Eve food in our previous blog post, and in this post we will share some spells and rituals. Whether you believe in magic or not, it’s a nice way to spend time after dinner, invite luck into your home, and try to predict what the following year will have to offer.
Christmas Eve and night is believed to be a magical time when mysterious things happen – the animals speak human language (it’s forbidden to listen though!) and the wishes made that night are set to come true. Lithuanians have traditionally used Christmas Eve charms to ask for luck, happiness, love, and money.
If you would like to try some of the fortune telling tricks this year, below we introduce you to the most popular ones.
For everyday well-being
– After the dinner, everything must remain on the table. It is believed that souls of our loved ones come visit during Christmas night, and a full table makes them nicer and willing to put even more effort in protecting their living family members.
– If you have a real wax candle, try dropping a dollop of warm wax into a bowl with cold water. Once the wax is set, carefully look into the shape, as it will tell you what awaits in the future.
– It was believed that bringing firewood on the day before Christmas will bring luck for the home. While older times have seen people bringing waggons, modern families these days stick with an armful.
For the prosperous life
– While traditionally Christmas Eve is a peaceful time, some competitions would happen at times. Among the most popular is taking a blanket between two people, with each person trying to pull it stronger than the other. Winning ensures an abundant year.
– If you wish for the upcoming summer to be stormless, avoid any loud jobs on the day before Christmas.
– There has to be at least 12 dishes on the table. The rule of thumb says that the more plentiful the table, the more replete the following year will be.
For the purest love
– One of the newer spells for singles out there encourages to take them a handful of nuts from the table and count them. If you get an even number, it means that you’ll find a better half next year. Odd number means you’ll need to wait for another year. And don’t forget to eat the nuts!
– On Christmas Eve, single girls would take a shoe, face a wall, and throw the shoe overhead towards the door. If the nose of the shoe ends up pointing at the door, it means the girl will need to leave home this year because of marriage. If the heel is pointing at the door, she will stay home for another year.
– On the day before Christmas, the single girl of the family would bring armful of fire logs home. She would count them after the dinner to see, if the number is even, meaning she will get married.
– Dreams of the Christmas night have a lot of significance, too. It is believed that if you wash your hair before bed, comb them with a wooden comb, and put it underneath a pillow, you can see your future significant other in a dream.
– If you place a bowl of water next to your bed and throw a straw through it, you’ll have a dream where you’re walking over the river on a bridge. You’ll meet someone on that bridge – and he will become your husband.
– Carefully peel an apple so that the skin doesn’t tear. Throw it over your shoulder, and see what letter it resembles – that’s the first letter of your future husband’s name.
For a wealthy year
– Straws or hay would be placed underneath the white tablecloth on the Christmas Eve table. After the dinner, everyone would pick a straw. If your straw is thick and long – you’ll have a long, wealthy life. A short, broken, or curved one means a short, miserable life.
– If you are lucky enough to find a double hazelnut, place it underneath your pillow during Christmas night. In the morning, put it in your wallet, so it always stays full of money.
– Even the smallest children would get some coins to keep in their pockets on the day before Christmas. It was believed that this will attract financial luck and the following year would be generous for the whole family.
– It was also thought that bathing in cold water which has silver or gold coins in it will invite more money into home.
Photos by Egle Juzu (IG: @egle.juzu)