It’s St Faith’s Day, but while I had the faith, my folklore faithfully failed. Today saw the return of two ongoing sagas. The first was my counting of seven stars for seven nights, cruelly cut short on day four due to crummy weather. And as the less than stellar weather has continued ever since, I thought (slightly flimsily) I should continue the theme and check out what winter has in store. Enter Persimmon Mark Two, an actual persimmon this time and not a pomegranate. Or a parsnip.
It’s said that the pips of a persimmon can predict how winter is going to play out. All you need do is find a pip, cut it in half, and interpret your findings. And according to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, it’s all about cutlery. If the shape inside the seed is like a knife, so the wind will cut like one. However, if instead you see a spoon, that means you’ll be shovelling snow. And finally, should your shape be like a fork, there’s no analogy, just a mild winter in the offing.
Only trouble is, my persimmon didn’t have any seeds. Not a one. Not even a hint of a one. So I ate it. Well, most of it. Some good news though, the skies cleared long enough for me to count seven stars. Just another six nights to go then.
Incidentally, our household has a tradition of ripening persimmons in the freezer. Pop them in, and then a week or so later defrost them, and they become all jammy inside. And that’s usually the only time when a spoon has ever been involved.
Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc