Two and a smidgen months to go! We’re now entering the eleventh month of the project, and no-one is more surprised than me to find I’ve managed to post a blog about folklore every day since 7 January. But enough with the back patting, there’s November to talk about. Strangely, given it’s a gloomy old month, with crappy weather, darkness, and pre-Christmas hysteria, it’s actually one of my favourite months. It’s mainly because of the smell of bonfires, the colour of the leaves, and the surprise sphincter clenching fireworks.
The Anglo Saxon moniker, Blotmonath reflected that traditionally November was the moment livestock were slaughtered in readiness for the winter. They also called it Windmonath signalling some salty weather to come. It’s also another month full of food, from soul cakes to Plot Toffee, from rice pudding to stagpag. And had it been a different year, November would have been full of celebratory fires, processions, the occasional bout of good natured mischief, and, ahem, politician effigy burning (looking at you, Lewes Bonfire night).
So what gets your November revving? The anticipation of preparing your Christmas pudding on Stir Up Sunday? Or how about writing your name with a sparkler against the sky? Or perhaps dressing up as a badger and getting down with some milk and a euphonium? Me, I’m pathetically excited to be busting out my Blue Peter book of classic makes and constructing a never-before-made Advent Crown on the 29th.
I know there’s not long to go now before the end of the project, but I still have gaps in my calendar and don’t want to miss out on any folklore. So if you’re up for suggesting something, be it to do with November, or general folklore, traditions, the weather, hedgerows, remedies, spells, online talks, the supernatural, etc, I’ll be up for trying it out. I’m also after full moon rituals for the two I have left. All suggestions welcome. There’s no winding down until 7 January 2021.
Here’s a peek into this month’s workings:
10 November – The Trial of Three Dishes
19 November – Would I lie to you?
28 November – Worm crocheting
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. You can also follow and tweet me @lilithepunk and through the hashtags #EverydayLore and #FolkloreFOMO on Twitter. And it would be lovely if you subscribed to give a me a little moral support and help get me through these last 66 days, plus share the posts far and wide. It’s not obligatory, obviously. But it would be lovely.
Right, I’m off to celebrate the New Year. Yup, today’s New Year’s Day. Again. Pinch punch!
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Chambers, R. (ed) (2004) The Book of Days, A Miscellany of POPULAR ANTIQUITIES in connection with THE CALENDAR including, ANECDOTE, BIOGRAPHY, & HISTORY CURIOSITIES of LITERATURE and ODDITIES of HUMAN LIFE and CHARACTER, Edinburgh, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd
Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Day, B. (1998) A Chronicle of Folk Customs, London, Hamlyn
Hannan, J. (Editorial Director) (2018) Here’s One I Made Earlier, Classic Blue Peter Makes, London, Kyle Books
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Jones, J. and Deer, B. (1987) Cattern Cakes and Lace, London, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Leendertz, L. (2019) The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2020, London, Mitchell Beazley
Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books