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Andrzejki in Poland

St. Andrew's Day in Poland

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Molten Wax

Molten Wax

iStockphoto/WLDavies
In Poland, Andrzejki, or St. Andrew's Eve is observed on the night of November 29th (St. Andrew's Day is on the 30th of November). This tradition has its roots in the past and is focused on superstitions and fortune telling. Poles who take part in Andrzejki rituals do so for fun rather than to gain insight into their futures, but for those traveling to Poland or those who are interested in Polish culture, the traditions are worth knowing about.

Andrzejki fortune telling is mostly for unmarried young ladies. In the past, searching for a husband was a Polish girl's most important task, so some St. Andrew's Eve rituals predict which female in the household will get married next or help to describe the man they will marry.

Animals, shoes, and wax have been used in the past to foretell marriage. The wax method of divination is still popular: melted wax, cooled in a bowl of water, is held up to a light to produce a shadow. The shadow is interpreted and the diviner is supposed to learn information about her future through the shadow produced by the melted wax. In a similar way, the shadow of burning paper can also be used to predict something about the future.

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