Predicting the future on Orthodox Christmas

A girl trying out an age-old method to predict the future on the Christmas Eve. Source: RIA Novosti / Alexander Kondratyuk

A girl trying out an age-old method to predict the future on the Christmas Eve. Source: RIA Novosti / Alexander Kondratyuk

The fortnight following the Orthodox Christmas is considered the best time to try out age-old methods to predict the future.

There is a tradition in Russia to predict the future during the Christmas holidays. The period from Jan. 6 (Christmas Eve) to Jan.19 (Russian Orthodox Epiphany) is considered the best time to predict the future. It’s believed that the prediction done during this time is the most accurate. 

Young girls get together in a house ready to use age-old techniques to predict such important events as their wedding day, their future husband and how many children they will have. There is nothing more curious than to know what will happen in few years.  

Usually, three or four girls get together in an empty house wearing their night gowns. It is advised to wear something comfortable, not fancy, no jewellery and no makeup. It should be absolutely quiet in the house. You are advised to never cross your hands or your legs. Apparently, all these would affect the accuracy of the prediction. 

Fortune telling using the mirror

Using the mirror is the best way to see the future but at the same time the most dangerous. It was not uncommon for girls to lose consciousness during the process. 

Sit down in front of the mirror with your hair loose and put two additional small mirrors on the sides of the front one at an angle, so you can see the reflection of the side mirrors.

It should look like an endless tunnel inside. Switch off the lights and put one candle between you and the mirror and watch the reflection. It should be done at midnight.

You should say: “My future husband, come to me to have dinner.”

You keep staring at the mirror until you see somebody inside. You are looking for a person, precisely a man who would become your husband in the future. Sometimes you would see just a silhouette of a person inside or you could identify the features and the details of the person.

The moment you see a man, you should say “Get lost!” and the image would disappear. 

Fortune telling using a shadow

Take a page of a newspaper and crumble it, not too tight. Put the paper on a plate and burn it. After it is fully burnt, put a candle next to it and look at the shadow on the wall.

You can use your imagination to interpret the shadow image. Or you could use the dream interpretations available. The most common interpretations are: boat – travel, man – friend or lover and crow – bad news. 

How to find out the name of your future husband? 

Exactly at midnight, you should go outside and ask the name of the first man that you meet. This name will be your future husband’s name. 

How fast will you get married? 

Each girl should take a thread of the same length. Burn the thread at the same time. Whose thread burns first, will get married first. If the thread doesn’t burn even halfway, then you will never get married. 

Nowadays there are hundreds of websites that offer future telling online. But I still believe that the old traditional way when girls get together and try to predict the future is more auspicious and gives that unforgettable feeling of opening the window into unknown future.

Note: Russia has always dated Christmas as Jan. 7, in common with the rest of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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