January 20 & 21
St. Agnes’s Eve and St. Agnes’s Day
St. Agnes was a Roman Catholic child martyr who was beheaded in the year 304 A.D., for refusing to marry. Her eve has traditionally been a time for lovers’ divination—especially divination by fire. One very old custom tells: To be sure to dream of your future husband tonight, fast strictly and keep silent all day. On no account allow anyone—not even a child—to kiss you. At bedtime you must dress in your finest night-dress, then boil an egg. When the egg is hard, take out the yolk, fill the space with salt, and eat the egg, shell and all. Then walk backwards to bed while saying:
“Fair St. Agnes, play thy part,
And send to me my own sweetheart.
Not in his best or worse array,
But in the clothes he wears every day.”
You will then surely dream of your intended, but tell no one of your dream or the spell will be broken.