Christmas Superstitions

Midwinter has always been a time when spirits and monsters were on the prowl. It is also a time that looks forward to the coming of spring hence a good time for fortunetelling and weather forecasting. The following is a collection of only some of the superstitions of the Christmas season. Some are associated with specific countries.

  1. At midnight on Christmas Eve, all water turns to wine; cattle kneel facing the East; horses kneel and blow as if to warm the manger; animals can speak, though it's bad luck to hear them; bees hum the hundredth psalm.

  2. In Ireland, it is believed that the gates of heaven open at midnight on Christmas Eve. Those who die at that time go straight to heaven without having to wait in purgatory.

  3. A child born on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve is considered very lucky in some countries, but in Greece he is feared to be a Kallikantzaroi; in Poland he may turn out to be a werewolf.

  4. The weather on each of the twelve days of Christmas signifies what the weather will be on the appropriate month of the coming year.

  5. In Germany, a blindfolded goose will touch first the girl in the circle who will wed first.

  6. The branch of a cherry tree placed in water at the beginning of Advent will bring luck if it flowers by Christmas.

  7. In Devonshire, England, a girl raps at the hen house door on Christmas Eve. If a rooster crows, she will marry within the year.

  8. You burn your old shoes during the Christmas season in Greece to prevent misfortunes in the coming year.

  9. It's bad luck to let any fire go out in your house during the Christmas season.

  10. It's bad luck to let your evergreen decorations fall or to throw them away. You should burn them or feed them to your cow.

  11. If the husband brings the Christmas holly into the house first, he will rule the household for the coming year; if the wife is first, she will hold sway.

  12. If you eat a raw egg before eating anything else on Christmas morning, you will be able to carry weights.

  13. In Hertfordshire, England, a plum cake is stuck on a cow's horn on Christmas Eve. Cider is then thrown into her face. If the cakes falls forward, it will be a good harvest.

  14. From cockcrow to daybreak of Christmas morning, the trolls roam the Swedish countryside, stay indoors.

  15. During the recitation of Christ's genealogy at Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, buried treasure reveals itself.

  16. If you don't eat any plum pudding, you will lose a friend before the next Christmas.

  17. If you refuse mince pie at Christmas dinner. You will have bad luck for a year.

  18. A loaf of bread left on the table after Christmas Eve dinner will ensure no lack of bread for the next year.

  19. Eating an apple at midnight on Christmas Eve gives good health for a year.

  20. You will have as many happy months in the coming year as the number of houses you eat minced pie in during Christmas.