Fortune telling traditions associated with Saint Andrew's Day are still very popular in Eastern Europe. Many Canadians of East European descent brought their celebrations along with them to Canada.
There's a lot of men who's name is Andrew. In Eastern Europe the name Andrew has many variations but the stem of the word is always the same for all Andrews as we go along through many different countries. They celebrate their name day more often than their birthdays which is more popular in North America. The day of the Andrews celebrations is marked in calendars on November 30th as St. Andrew's Day.
Andrew, master of the ceremony examining his chunk of wax as part of fortune telling East European traditions for the St. Andrew's Day (Nov. 30th)
For many generations, especially the evening and the night right before date has been celebrated with meetings and food sharing of all those who have Andrews around them. All Andrews themselves keep it as a special honour to invite the members of their families and friends to spend this night together when sharing food, drinks and upkeep as many traditions as possible far away from their homeland somewhere in Eastern Europe.
Wax pouring through the keyhole to cold water, fortune telling East European traditions for the St. Andrew's Day (Nov. 30th)
One of the most interesting traditions of that day for Polish people is wax pouring through the keyhole right into the cold water. Candles leftovers collected over time are put into a pot which is next put over the source of heat. In old days the heat was always provided by a clay made or ceramic stove located in the corner of the kitchen. Sometimes these stoves were quite large in size and at night, after the fire was out and the stove got a bit colder, they served as perfect sleeping place for some privileged members of family due to its constant warmth it kept throughout the night.
Chunk of wax and its shadow cast over the wall closely examined by all party's participants, wax pouring as fortune telling East European traditions for the St. Andrew's Day (Nov. 30th)
The most important thing is that the liquid wax must be poured through the keyhole. Why?, the old tradition doesn't precise the answer to that question. It's maybe the key symbolised the gate of time and the best key for the fortune telling had to be the one from important doors, eg. a church's door. Or maybe the key was a symbolic opener in the book of future life's events and it was holding the sequence of events in the future. One of the reasons was that the wax was the product of bees and candles made of it were used in catholic church ceremonies. In the very old days, instead of candles, people used lead or tin from old parts of church's stained glass windows. The metals symbolised stability of feelings, emotions and eternal love. They were replaced by bees wax as heavy metals conveyed the message of life's hardships in future life.
Everybody wants to know the future for the upcoming year, fortune telling East European traditions for the St. Andrew's Day (Nov. 30th)
Hot and liquid wax solidifies quickly in cold water forming strange and random shapes that are now very closely examined by the members of the party. To be precise, their strange wax shapes have to be lit with any source of light and their shadows cast over a wall are something that makes everybody wonder. Now everybody looking at the shadow makes comments of what the shapes look like and relation of the shape with the person who has just poured the wax. This fortune telling was mainly designed for the young women to get the future vision of a husband but now everybody can pour wax wondering what the future is holding for in the incoming new year.
Although originally for young women, in these days everybody wants to pour the wax through the keyhole and see what the future holds, East European traditions for the St. Andrew's Day (Nov. 30th)
In the meantime traditional food is served. The most popular drink is hot wine prepared with cinnamon, dry orange skins, raisins, clover that is a perfect drink for these already cold days. There is a bit mystery in making of that drink - the best is when used medium sweet wine and not really the most expensive.