NOVEMBER 23RD – NOVEMBER 30TH – Saints Clements, St Catherine , St Andrews & Sagittarius

23rd November St Clements Day the Blacksmith’s Holiday

Clemens I, the Pope of Rome. Mosaic from St. Sophia of Kyiv, 11th c. In places of loss (lower part of the composition) — oil painting of the 18th c. (Wikipedia)

St Clement was martyred by drowning, tied to an iron anchor. He was a very early Bishop of Rome, and his mode of death (AD99) means he is particularly venerated by Blacksmiths and Sailors.

24th November – the dawning of Sagittarius

According to the Kalendar of Shepheardes 1604, women born on this day should marry at age 13, shall have many sons and live to 72 years old. Men will be merciful, far-travelled, prosperous after early dangers and live to 72 years and 8 months.

25th November St Catherine’s Day Patroness of the Catherine Wheel.

In the pantheon of horror that is the Saints’ Calendar, St Catherine suffered by being broken on the wheel, although the wheel broke and she was beheaded. The princess was very studious and disputed with pagan learned men and confounded them. She refused to marry a pagan Emperor. She is the patron of Philosophers, Theologians and Royal women but also of students, spinsters, and anyone who lives by a wheel – carter, potters etc.

26th November Thanksgiving Day in the USA

Plate 1 of The Birds of America by John James Audubon, depicting a wild turkey (Wikipedia)

Thanksgiving is a festival given over to celebrating God’s Bounty. There are unanswerable debates about which was the ‘First’ Thanksgiving but the date of the 4th Thursday in November was set by Abraham Lincoln.

27th November – Eels now in Season.

Eel Pie Island . Ordnance Survey In 1871 to 1882 map series (OS, 1st series at 1:10560: Surrey (Wikipedia)

Sad loss of a East End Jellied Eels outlet (author's copyright)
photo of sold sign on Pie and Mashshop F Cooke in Broadway market
Sad loss of a East End Jellied Eels outlet (author’s copyright)

28th November – Time to Wed before Advent

Traditionally, you could not marry after Advent and before 12th Night. So now might be the last chance to marry before that bump gets too big!

19th Century Illustration (Author’s Copyright)

Wedding dresses were traditionally whatever really pretty dress you had. White only became de rigueur once Queen Victoria worn one, and the costs of material reduced because of mass production.

29th November To make a Dish of Snow

Thanks to Zdenek Machacek -unsplash

Snow is increasingly possible, and if you are keen to see some – try this medieval recipe:

To make a dish of Snowe / Take a potte of sweete thicke creme and the white of eight egges and beate them altogether with a spoone then putte them into your creame with a dish full of Rose Water and a dishfull of Sugar withall then take a sticke and make it cleane and then cutt it in the ende fowre square and therewith beate all the aforesayd thinges together and ever as it ariseth take it of and putte it into a Cullander thys done take a platter and set an aple in the middest of it and sticke a thicke bush of Rosemarye in the apple then cast your snowe upon the rosemarye and fill your platter therewith and if you have wafers cast some withall and thus serve them forth

From Medieval Manuscripts Blog.

30th November St Andrew’s Day

One of the first Apostles. It seems all Christian martyrs have to be killed in a different grizzly way and Andrew was martyred on a X-shaped cross. As he was formerly a simple fisherman so patron of fishermen.

Celebrate with a Haggis and a Whisky!

In Kent and Sussex Andrewtide gave the right to hunt squirrels, and in Hasted’s History of Kent (1782) it allowed the ‘lower kind’ to form a lawless rabble hunting any manner of hares, partridges and pheasants.

The sort of squirrel that might deserve hunting? Cheeky devil.

Please leave me a comment - its great to hear what you think.

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