Hello and welcome back to another round of Highlights. Yesterday’s session was all about Clothes and Costumes to observe the coming holidays of Carnival and Mardi Gras. Both celebrations are essentially the same, with the expression ‘Mardi Gras’ more commonly used in the United States. Other countries might have their own word, such as Brazil’s famous ‘Carnaval’. These days, the holiday is usually associated with the Christian period of Lent, but Carnival and very similar variations of it can be found a bit all over the world, at various times of the year from Indonesia to Slovenia, as part of a natural human psyche that likes to put on some costumes, do some parades and dance our worries away.
Our first highlight is from Rivka, who shared a custom related to fairies. You might have heard that to keep fairies from leading you astray onto dark paths you can either wear your coat inside out or turn your pockets inside out – but as shared by Rivka, you could also try and wear a daisy chain around your neck or carry daisies in your pockets. Spring is coming in the Northern Hemisphere, and the daisies are beginning to sprout so I really liked this superstition.
The second highlight was posted by Wall Flower Studio. As mentioned above, the superstition of turning your clothes inside out can be associated with fairies – but in regions where these otherwordly beings haven’t much hold, the custom may be more associated with plain luck. Superstitions told by grandmas are always a favourite of mine, so I couldn’t pass on this tweet where Wall Flower Studio reminded me that my grandma also said that if you got dressed in inside out clothes, you must keep them like that until the end of the day otherwise you won’t have the good luck that action symbolises.
Our third highlight goes to none other than the group previously known as Faustian Friday. Earlier this week they had a rebrand and are now known as “#ofdarkandmacabre”, sharing superstitions under that hashtag every day of the week, as well as maintaining their Faustian Friday specials. Yesterday, ofdarkandmacabre told us of a tradition from Central Europe where folks dressed in straw costumes resembling bears walked the villages begging for food and drink. This instantly reminded me of the Caretos in Portugal, who also dress in straw costumes draped with cowbells to spread mischief and revelry. There are other places in the continent where similar costumes may be found, which just highlights the kinship we share with each other in this small world.
In this spirit of kinship and friendship between peoples, we are sharing a fourth highlight this week from PJ Richards, who told a tale about a traditional attire from Ukraine. The Vyshyvanka is an embroidered shirt said to bring good luck to its wearer and to protect them from harm. Featured colours may be yellow, blue and green, while red in particular means love of life and joy.
That’s all for today. I am looking forward to seeing you all again next week for another theme that also celebrates the joy of community and friendship:
FOOD AND COOKING
Until then, stay safe and look after each other.
– Superstition Sam 🐾