Saturday, July 18, 2015

Halloween "Hazel Nut Test" Postcard Poem (Circa 1918)

A boy in a clown suit drops a hazel nut on hot coals to determine if his love is true while a witch flies by the moon. 

I wondered whether this "hazel nut test" was pure invention on the part of the writer of this versicle--or if it had deeper roots in folk ways.

I found some corroboration in The Oregon Countryman:

"A youth and maid place hazel nuts near the hot coals of the fire. If one nut bursts, that lover is untrue; if one hisses and steams, bad temper is indicated; if one or both pop away, it means separation; if both burn tranquilly, a peaceful, happy life is indicated; the flame of one may follow that of the other, thus telling who is master of the house, or else who does the wooing."

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