Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/159

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Folklore of the Azores. 143

in which the fate of distant friends can be read ; if they are happy and living the ashes will resume the shape of a beautiful flower^ but if they are dead or unfortunate the ashes will remain cold and lifeless.

Bonfires are lit on St. John's Eve, and boys jump over them for luck.

Divination and Lots. {Sortes.)

On St. John's Eve and St. Peter's Eve many curious customs connected with divination prevail.

Girls get slips of paper on which they write a double set of names of young men. These are folded and crinkled, one set being placed under the girls' pillows and the other in a saucer full of water. In the morning they draw one name from under the pillow and see if one in the water has opened. If the two are the same the girl knows that he will be her husband. The young men do the same with girls' names.

A new-laid egg is broken into a glass of water, and the shapes it assumes, representing various objects, show the fate of the person concerned. Thus a ship means travel, a coffin, death, and so on.

Seven saucers are placed in a row, filled with water, earth, ashes, keys, a thimble, money, and grass, meaning travel, death, widowhood, housekeeping, spinsterhood, riches, and farming. A blindfolded person touches the saucers with a little wand and thus finds out his or her fate.

Three broad beans [favas) are taken. One is left with the skin on, one is half peeled, and the third quite peeled, the three denoting respectively riches, competence, and poverty. These are hidden and searched for, and thus the fate of the finder is ascertained.

If a girl rises at sunrise, goes into the street, and asks the first passer-by his Christian name, this will be her hus- band's name.

Corn H lis king.

One of the most popular Azorean pastimes is the husk-