Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/100

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84 Collectanea.

the candles used in the Holy Week service to the heads of children or animals. Some again hang a sort of sea-shell called bahbuha round the necks of the little ones or cattle .... a pair of horns is also used by some as a charm against the evil eye.

Ghost of the House — // Hares. Some of the country folk say that this hares exists in the shape of an old black serpent, which guards the house and bestows riches and good luck on the children born in that house. It is held extremely unlucky to kill the old black serpent.

{Fortune Telling by melted lead on St. John's Day.]

The Bath on Easter Sunday. As soon as the Gloria is sung in the churches mothers dip their babies into a bath in which are thrown some flowers which were used to decorate the sepulchre on Good Friday. This the mothers do to cure their littles ones of any fright they may have taken. Some mothers dip their other children in succession in the same bath when the baby is taken out ; this they do that their children might not inherit the fright the one from another.

Meeting. — If two women who have been confined on the same day meet before forty days, one of them will suffer misfortune, either in her own person or that of .her child.

If a person goes to pay a visit for the first time, and is not treated with a sort of drink called Zambur (of aniseed), a mouse enters the drawers and gnaws the petticoats of the mistress of the house.

If a woman wishes her husband or son to return from abroad, she is to light a lamp and leave it before the entrance door .... and keep doing so until she sees her dear one entering the house.

Those among the Maltese who wish to possess a balsam having the property of healing all wounds, take an egg that has been laid on Lady Day, hide it .... in a dark place, and begin to use it at the end of a year.

If the acacia were brought into the house the head thereof

would die within twelve months \Vhen one kills a newt and

leaves its tail wagging on the floor, that tail will be cursing the parents of its destroyer.

The throwing of coal dust or soot instead of hme before a door on New Year's Day betokens bad luck. He who does not dine with his family on New Year's Day is expected to die at the end of the same year. He who eats hotchpotch soup on New