Thursday, 6 January 2011

Winter Light

Twelfth night means taking down the decorations, and although I have not known why, I have always kept to this custom out of superstition-it being unlucky to leave them up. In the same way I never eat off of two plates, one on top of the other, and don't put umbrellas up indoors. I have tried to get over my fear of the broken mirror as there have been a few of those! My Nan was the one that taught me the few superstitions I can't shake, and it makes me remember her by remembering them. Anyway, waffle aside, I have just found out why I should take down the decorations. It is to release the tree spirits that you were protecting from the cold midwinter when you brought them indoors in December. They will cause mischief if kept in the house ( I already have Cassie for that), and will not be able to release spring from the grip of winter. All found out here. There is also a celebration on Bankside near the Globe theatre where a holly man comes out of the Thames. (He is a version of the green man) He looks most impressive!

Although the decorations have gone and Christmas is over, it is still dark, so light and sparkle are welcome sights.

A beautiful girl with sparkly red lips and a rose in her hair, all the way from sunny South Africa. Thank you Anairam!

Beautiful feather (found on the playground yesterday), shimmering in candle light.
A frog Prince's castle is also his crown, with little lights glimmering around and about.



Lastly, a view of the nursery playground today. It has rained steadily all day and this afternoon was too wet even to go out with our hoods up and ride the bikes. So we have to stay under the terribly leaky old shelter and play with the trains, sand and water painting (these children can't get enough of water!) This morning as I was writing post-it observations my pen was smudging with the rain drops. From this, Grace, Brooklyn and I decided to make rain pictures on more post-its. Simple things can be such fun! The rain is included in this post on light as it shines!

11 comments:

Linda Sue said...

Especially fond of the frog's domicile! And of the lovely lady in candle light.
superstitions always make me smile. They are incredibly silly BUT hold some measure of power...If I loose something I try everything first and then resort to superstition...like tying a hanky - a knot in each corner, spinning around three times and dropping it, waiting and then VOILA I find the thing that was lost!

Leenie said...

You got a sparkley card from SA too! What fun. At least you found a way to make fun out of a wet day. Great idea! Tell the kids and Cassie Cat, "Hi!"

Gabbi said...

Gorgeous painting, I didn't know that about the Christmas decorations! We usually leave them up till the weekend after the 6th because of "Three Kings Day", which we celebrated today. Next time I'll probably follow and take the tree down before the 6th and leave the nativity up. You just gave my already superstitious nature some fuel! :D

PS. I passed an award on to you today... hope you don't mind!

→lisa said...

There was a discussion about this very subject (taking down decorations) over at Chez Larsson too (is that "at" redundant? oh well...).

I can't remember ever having any special day for taking down the tree and decorations, but it seems that a lot of Europeans have the practice. But then, we also don't have holly men climbing out of our rivers.

On the other hand, when I was a kid, I was afraid of being kidnapped by Sasquatch in the middle of the night! "New World" superstitions...

frayedattheedge said...

Thanks for the info about why we take the decorations down - I've just always done it without asking why! If only we could be like children and always find the joy in things - even a miserable rainy day!!

Di said...

Oh I absolutely get the whole superstition thing too. And it was my Nan who "taught" me about them. She was deadly serious about it too. Love that feather and beautiful photo. Happy New Year, Sarah. Hope it's a good one! x

jabblog said...

The holly man sounds so interesting - I've never heard of him before. And now, thanks to you, I know why it's bad luck to leave the decorations up but as I have always considered Twelfth Night to be 6th January, I have stacked up loads of bad luck in my life (though I did take the decorations down on 5th this year - must have known . . .)

Tracy said...

Oh, those rainy post-it's are wonderful! They remind me of weathered pray flags. :o) Our tree mcomes down tomorrow. Already today I too off & boxed up the ornaments for another year. I will miss all the twinkie lights though. Tempting to keep the twinkie lights around the living room windows up longer… Need some extra glow these dark winter days here. Happy Weekend ahead, my friend ((HUGS))

Relyn said...

Twelfth Night. that's it! I'm not tardy with my Christmas decorations. I just celebrate Twelfth Night. Thank you. Happy new year, too, my friend. May it bring you everything you dream of.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Want to know the origins of the umbrella and the mirror superstitions?

Umbrella: In Victorian times, when your drawing room was so cluttered, you'd be sure to break something if you put up an umbrella (although, with the skirts you wore at that time I doubt your umbrella would be any bigger: maybe it was your gas light would set fire to the umbrella?)

Mirror: Glass was very very expensive in the old days. If you broke a mirror it would take you 7 years to save up for a new one...

:-)

Liz said...

Our family has a tradition of never leaving Christmas decorations past New Years Day so I took them down the Thursday after Christmas. I don't think we are superstitious about it since we don't believe in superstition. I am always ready to get my house back to normal.