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May 14th 1795

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There is superstition...

In Highland Perthshire, May 14th was for some reason considered to be an unlucky day, and the day of the week on which it fell was considered to be unlucky for the rest of the year. None would choose to marry or begin any serious business on that day.

None would have their banns proclaimed in one quarter of the year and marry in the beginning of the next. None in fact would choose to marry in the months of January or May. There were other superstitions connected with marriage. Immediately before the ceremony, “every knot about the bride and bridegroom (garters, shoe-strings, strings of petticoats etc.) is carefully loosened. This is to signify that all knots were to be loosed except the one indissoluble knot, which only death could dissolve. After leaving the church, the whole company walk round it, keeping the church walls always on the right hand. The bridegroom however, first retires one way with some young men to tie the knots which were loosed about him; while the young married woman in the same manner, retires to adjust the disorder of her dress.” 

Even in death there was a certain ritual that had to be observed. When the cortege approached the grave, the body was first taken round it from east to west (the path followed by the sun). No doubt, like the Beltane ceremonies, this was another relic of sun worship.

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