The Everyday Lore Project

16 July 2020 – Eve of St Kenelm’s Day

16 July 2020 – Eve of St Kenelm’s Day

It’s a day full of Other Life, so another very quick one. I ate an apple. 

It’s said that until St Swithin shakes his funky stuff over the apples, or ‘christens’ them, or ‘it rains’, or his day is over and done with, apples are basically good for nothing. Or as this very badly rhymed proverb has it:

Til St Swithun’s Day be past,
The apples be not fit to taste.

So it was my folkloric duty to check. Another apple connection is that it’s the Eve of St Kenelm’s Day, an eve where in the village of Clent, Worcestershire the tradition was to lob crab apples at the parson, catchily known as Crabbing the Parson. And finally, it’s also World Snake Day, and we all know how much snakes like them apples.

Anyhow, for extra folklore points, I ate the apple enacting a spell called Five Points of the Apple and You, the five points analogous to the body’s five centres. I halved the apple round the middle to reveal a pippy pentagram, cut out five slices, and pondered on different things about my life while eating them, for example, slice four represented safety and risk. 

My apple was quite tiddly, so I wasn’t able to ponder each topic for long. Plus I was hungry. But it did taste delicious (thank you, St Swithin). Although it has left me very thirsty. I may still be a little conflicted. I might need to go back and contemplate slice number two again.

Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Neff, A. (ed) (2019) Llewellyn’s 2020 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac, Holidays & Lore, Spells, Rituals & Meditations, Woodbury, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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