Monday, December 14, 2015

MopDog Monday: How to spot witches with this 1 easy trick

There is a saying in Hungary: "Lassan készül, mint a Luca széke" (Takes a long time to make, like Luca's chair). Since its origin is directly related to the Christmas season - namely, December 13th, which was yesterday - I thought it would be worth a post.

December 13th is St. Lucy's feast day. All over Europe, there are various customs connected to Lucy (or Lucia), light, and demons and witchcraft (because that's how Catholics roll). In Hungary, specifically, Luca's day is a very important point of Advent.

On Luca's feast day, a craftsman might begin making a special chair. It is made of 13 pieces, and it has to be completed over the course of 13 days. It is made of 9 or 13 types of wood, including oak, linden, ash, beech, cheery, hornbeam, larch, blackthorn, juniper, sycamore, pear, European cornel, fir, locust, Austrian oak, and rosewood (or, obviously, some combination of these). It is not allowed to put any nails in the chair; it has to be held together with wooden pegs instead. The chair is relatively small, and either circular with 3 legs, or rectangular with four legs.

Once Luca's chair was completed (on Christmas day), the craftsman was supposed to take it to Midnight Mass (or to the crossroads at midnight). It was believed that if they stood on it, they could see witches for what they truly were - having horns, antlers, feathers, etc. Once the person noted who the witches were, he had to pick up the chair and run for his life (obviously). One way to slow down the witches that were no doubt chasing him, he had to throw poppy seeds over his shoulder - witches are obligated to stop and count them. Once safely home, the chair had to be burnt to ash.

Some people still hold this custom - more out of tradition than actual belief. After all, someone yelling "I KNEW IT!" during Christmas mass goes over so well every time...

1 comment: