The Everyday Lore Project

28 December 2020 – Childermass

28 December 2020 – Childermass

Today is supposed to be the unluckiest day of the year, it being Childermass, or Holy Innocents’ Day, the day when it’s said Herod got democide happy.

Therefore the folklore on Childermass is mostly warning against doing things, like not doing the laundry, or cutting your nails; or not starting things, like a building project, or a voyage, or a marriage for fear they’d end badly. Not doing the laundry was a pain, but given the penalty for washing your smalls on Childermass is a death in the family, I thought waiting until tomorrow was a small price to pay. Surprisingly, what is allowed today is the beating of small children, but I decided against this too. 

The original plan had been to protect myself from the bad luck by adorning myself with all the good luck charms I’ve accrued throughout the year. But I already did this when I went on the radio. So instead I decided to make that traditional good luck token and way of shutting up small children on a picnic, the four leaf clover. It was either this or finding a purse made of weasel skin.

I returned to my dubious love of paper folding, as having done this activity before I felt that technically this wasn’t starting something new. Besides I reasoned I was making a symbol of good luck and protection, and therefore surely the good luck and protection part would give me good luck and protection. Plus it was an easy, one take, painless activity. I only had to rewind the video twice. 

Now it all depends on whether the Fates view the writing of this post as a newly begun project. I mean, it is the 370th post out of a series of 380 posts, so it’s hardly new either in concept, tone or content. But then, I have just bitten the inside of my lip eating leftover Devonshire Rum Pudding. So maybe the four leaf clover hasn’t been as lucky as I’d hoped after all. I best keep my fingers crossed for the next nine days, just in case.

Time left on The Everyday Lore Project


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

Hazlitt, W.C. (1995) The Dictionary of Faiths and Folklore, Beliefs, Superstitions and Popular Customs, London, Bracken Books

Simpson, J. and Roud, S. (2001) Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Wilde, Lady (1991) Irish Cures, Mystic Charms & Superstitions, New York, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

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.

4 comments on “28 December 2020 – Childermass”

  1. Alison says:

    I am really enjoying your blog. I may even try this one. I was inspired to crochet some mistletoe also.

    1. Hi Alison, thank you so much! That’s really kind of you to say so. How did the mistletoe go? And yes, the four leaf clover is quick and easy, I’d highly recommend.

  2. Alison says:

    Mistletoe is good and hanging above my fire place as a little garland!

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