…and some crazy customs…
During the Christmas holidays there was barley time for a new blog post. You know that for sure, a feast chases the next and espacially when you have a little child you are always busy to keep the myth of Christmas alive. After this days I´m always a bit exhausted….
The time of the “Rauhnächte” (or translated Rough Nights) seems as if made to return to myself and find quiet. I don´t know if this custom is celebrated in other parts of the world? That´s why I would like to bring this old celtic tradition a bit closer to you. We have many pagan customs which are still celebrated in our country and that is one of the most important.
There are twelve nights of roughness between the 25th December and the 5th of January. Every nights stands for its own meaning.
The ancient knowledge belief states the in the “Rauhnächten” Odin sweeps through the lands with his ghost army. My grandmother still believes that in these special days at the end of year the spirits are between us. Some effort must be made to keep them away. This happens for example through the daily smoking of the house or the stables. There are also a few rules and customs to be followed during tis 12 nights. Some of them sound very crazy but here in the woodlands we take great care to keep them.
- It is not allowed to hang laundry on the clothesline during the rough nights. Because it can happen that the demons are sitting on top of the clothesline and they must not be disturbed.
- You should put a candle on the windowsill at dusk. These evil spirits would be attracted by good spirits thereby.
- If you feed chickens in the “Rauhnacht” many peas, then they are laying many eggs.
- No boots should be cleaned.
- Beggars must not be rejected, they should be invited with food and drinks.
- Animals can talk during the twelve nights but they must not be overheard.
- No crap may be taken out otherwise the cattle will get sick next year.
Ther are just a few of the many customs that we cultivate in the woods. I know that must sound weird for foreigners, but if you grown up with that myths like me, it isn´t. It is a important part of our local identity, a way to preserve traditions over generations.
In moderen times the rough nights mean a contemplative time and a retreat to yourself.
In this sense….happy rough nights…