Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bayberry Candles for Luck?

Today I was walking to the drug store when I saw this sign in front of a local flower & gift shop:
Burn a bayberry candle for good luck in the new year!
I never heard that one before. It sounded to me like a certain proprietor had too many bayberry candles in stock and was trying to clear them out before January 1. A quick phone call to my mom seemed to confirm my suspicion since she had never heard of such a tradition. And my mom has enough candles to remake the Police video "Wrapped Around Your Finger!" Not only that, but she eats herring for luck at the stroke of midnight. If there was an easier way out just by burning a candle, I figure she would do that instead (actually, she doesn't seem to dislike herring the way I do, although she only eats it once a year).

When I got home from the drug store with my half-price clearance Reese's peanut butter trees, two bottles of Diet Rite, and two bags of Brach's malted milk balls (now with eight ounces per package instead of seven in the ongoing conspiracy to make me too fat to leave my home), I checked with my trusty friend, Google. Well, call me a sock 'cause I'll be darned. This page says
According to tradition, a bayberry taper candle burned all the way down on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve brings good luck for the coming year. As the saying goes:
"A bayberry candle burned to the socket
brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket."
That's probably the last thing I'll learn in 2005. But I still didn't buy a bayberry candle and I'm not eating herring tonight, so I guess it's my own fault if I have bad luck in 2006.

1 comment:

Auntie Di's De-Lites said...

Funny little traditions eh? Our family eats herring too..pickled at that...BLECH...I could never understand it..but yes...we DO burn the bayberry candle...

Happy New Year!