23 December 2020 – La Longue Veille

In Guernsey, Christmas Eve Eve is traditionally called La Longue Veille, or The Long Knitting Evening. It was a time to finish any outstanding knitting for the special pre-Christmas market, before cutting loose with coffee cups of vin brûlé (mulled wine) and cheese (cheese).

So it also being Yule, I thought I would spend the evening knitting some mistletoe. I had had it in my mind to go foraging for mistletoe. That was before several florists had scoffed at me, given they said most mistletoe is usually found at the top of ancient oak trees. At the solstice, a bundle of mistletoe tied with a red or white ribbon is said to protect one’s house from sorcery and fire. It’s also an aid to finding buried treasure, plus excellent for kissing under. 

As per usual, there were a fair few restarts and a bit of unravelling, but the pattern was easy. Or should that be brie-sy? 

And now my mistletoe is hanging up, complete with beaded berries. Real berries are said to cure jaundice if dipped in male urine. Something I hope I never have to try.

Today’s AdVent:

Now where are my coffee cups?

How much time is left on The Everyday Lore Project?


Resources

Baker, M. (2019) Discovering The Folklore of Plants, Oxford, Shire Publications

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

Forest, D. (2016) The Magical Year, Seasonal Celebrations To Honour Nature’s Ever-Turning Wheel, London, Watkins

https://bellalucehotel.com/explore/post/la-longue-veille

https://www.priaulxlibrary.co.uk/articles/article/23-december-la-longue-veille#Top

http://crazydaisy60.blogspot.com/2013/10/mistletoe-this-pattern-is-copyright.html

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