Completion Date: March 6, 2012
Reason for Reading: Fun!
Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning; red sky at night, sailor''s delight." Atlantic Canadian tradition holds that such warnings be taken seriously. And with good reason; lives often hang in the balance. Sailors aren't alone in seeing in the world a connectedness that is often lost in the modern world. In Atlantic Canada, thankfully such beliefs still play a role in everyday life. This is a collection of many of those age-old beliefs from the region's best and most eclectic compiler of folklore.
We also get well known Atlantic Canadians to weigh in with some of their superstitions. Gemini award winning actor and writer and star of the hit comedy This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Cathy Jones recalls many of the “old sayings" from her childhood. Author Allan Lynch remembers home remedies administered by his parents, aunts and grandparents. Former NHLer Glen Murray talks about the superstitions of the game. And singer/songwriters Dave Gunning, Joel Plaskett, Terry Kelly and Rita MacNeil all admit to being just a little bit superstitious. From Nancy Regan, meteorologist Peter Coade, movie reviewer Richard Crouse, and Bluenose II Captain Philip Watson, they are all here.This book was a lot of fun! It was a great representation of the culture of this area. I enjoyed the experience and sharing random quotes with others. My big beef, though, is the editing. It was terrible. There were typos, sentences that did not make sense, etc. This is a library copy and someone along the way crossed out words that shouldn't be there and added in others. So, I was a bit disappointed, but I am so happy to have read it and strongly recommend it to others.
Instead of rambling I am just going to share some of the things from the book.
One crow sorrow
Two crows joy
Three crows letter (or girl)
Four crows a boy
Five crows silver
Six crows gold
Seven crows a secret, yet to be told.
Eight crows for a wish.
Nine crows for a kiss.
Ten crows for a time of joyous bliss.
I was born on a Wednesday and apparently the day of the week you are born determines the kind of person you are. That means:
- It is also said that February 29 is the only time of the year when it is permitted for a woman to propose marriage to a man. It is bad luck for the man to say no. (Page 26)
Blue brings you good luck.
You tend to get along well with other people.
You do not like to argue.
Want to hear more? Pick-up a copy of the book and be prepared to be entertained!
- It is unlucky to get dressed by putting on your shirt with the left arm first. This left first holds true for pants and shoes. Always start with the right side of your body to ensure that you have a good day. (Page 36)
- Put a hand in front of your month when sneezing. Your soul may escape otherwise. (Page 37)
- If your left ear itches, it is said that someone is saying something bad about you. Conversely, if the right ear itches, then it is believed that someone is saying something good about you. (Page 43)
- If you cannot make a good fire, you will not get a good husband. (Page 46)
- Two lovers will never agree after their marriage if both wipe their faces on the same towel. (Page 57)
What are some superstitions that you believe in or remember hearing about over and over again?
I didn't really think I was all that superstitious, but when my aunt got married they hung the rosary on the clothesline to improve the chance of no rain. (It started off the day raining but stopped for the wedding. According to this book it is more common in Cape Breton.) When we were kids we always used to say how stepping on a crack (in the side walk) would break your mothers back. And, how many people consider a penny that you pick up on the ground as lucky? Not to mention the saying the title of the book comes from: 'Red Sky at Night, sailors delight. Read sky in the morning, sailors take warning'. It is fun to think about!