Folk Lore, Or, Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland Within this Century: With an Appendix Shewing the Probable Relation of the Modern Festivals of Christmas, May Day, St. John's Day, and Halloween, to Ancient Sun and Fire Worship

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A. Gardner, 1879 - Folklore - 190 pages
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Page 169 - Perthshire in the year 1769, tells us that " on the first of May, the herdsmen of every village hold their Bel-tien, a rural sacrifice. They cut a square trench on the ground, leaving the turf in the middle ; on that they make a fire of wood, on which they dress a large caudle of eggs, butter, oatmeal and milk ; and bring besides the ingredients of the caudle, plenty of beer and whisky ; for each of the company must contribute something.
Page 100 - Flaccus says:--"A grandmother or a superstitious aunt has taken baby from his cradle, and is charming his forehead and his slavering lips against mischief by the joint action of her middle finger and her purifying spittle." Here we find that it is not the spittle alone, but the joint action of the spittle and the middle finger which works the influence. The middle finger was commonly, in the early years of this century, believed to possess a favourable influence on sores; or, rather, it might be...
Page 169 - The rites begin with spilling some of the caudle on the ground by way of libation. On that, every one takes a cake of oatmeal, upon which are raised nine square knobs, each dedicated to some particular being, the supposed preserver of their flocks and herds, or to some particular animal, the real destroyer of them. Each person then turns his face to the fire, breaks off a knob, and, flinging it over his shoulder, says, " This I give to thee, preserve thou my horses : this to thee, preserve thou my...
Page 98 - Thou art my confidence;" 25 if I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; 28 if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; "and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 28 this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge; chapter 31: 28 57 for I should have denied the God that is above.
Page 51 - In some parts of Scotland, in the beginning of the last century, when the wedding party arrived at the bridegroom's house, " the young wife was lifted over the threshold, or first step of the door, lest any witchcraft or ill e'e should be cast upon and influence her.
Page 131 - Britons, he stood under an oak tree. The ancient Hebrews evidently held the oak as a sacred tree. There is a tradition that Abraham received his heavenly visitors under an oak. Rebekah's nurse was buried under an oak, called afterwards the oak of weeping. Jacob buried the idols of Shechem under an oak. It was under the oak of Ophra, Gideon saw the angel sitting, who gave him instructions as to what he was to do to free Israel. When Joshua and Israel made a covenant to serve God, a great stone was...
Page 128 - I have found the following well attested : Onions placed in the room where there is smallpox will blister and decompose with great rapidity, not only so, but will prevent the spread of the disease. I think as a disinfectant they have no equal, when properly used ; but keep them out of the stomach.
Page 135 - Highlander goes to bathe, or to drink waters out of a consecrated fountain, he must always approach by going round the place, from east to west on the south side, in imitation of the apparent diurnal motion of the sun. When the dead are laid in the earth, the grave is approached by going round in the same manner. The bride is conducted to her future spouse, in the presence of the minister, and the glass goes round a company, in the course of the sun. This is called, in Gaelic, going round the right,...
Page 168 - ... blindfold draws out a portion. He who holds the bonnet is entitled to the last bit. Whoever draws the black bit is the devoted person, who is to be sacrificed to Baal, whose favour they mean to implore in rendering the year productive of the sustenance of man and beast.
Page 168 - They kindle a fire, and dress a repast of eggs and milk of the consistence of a custard. They knead a cake of oatmeal, which is toasted at the embers against a stone. After the custard is eaten up, they divide the cake...

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