Father Christmas tell me about My Love
Can an olive leaf reveal if someone loves you? According to our tradition, it surely can. On New Year’s Eve, while everyone is waiting for Saint Vasilis’ knock on the door, the family gathers around the fireplace, not only to warm up but for another family ritual for the day. Each family member casts an olive leaf into the burning firewood to see if he/she is loved by a significant other. For example, one may say: “Saint Vasilis, my King, please reveal if … (mention a name) loves me”. If the leaf crackles in the fire, the answer is positive. Τhe higher and louder the leaf bounces on the burning woods, the more the person loves you! If the leaf burns quietly, it means that the person in question is indifferent. If the result is not what you are hoping for, don’t give up, just give it another go!
If you are too young to have a loved one, you can ask about a family person. Children love to ask about uncles, aunties or other relatives in order to find out who would give them money (pouloustrina) on New Year’s Day.
Empyroscopy with olive leaves in an old Byzantine tradition used to make important predictions. On New Year’s Eve it is revived in Cyprus, even if it is for fun.
While on our island on New Year’s Eve why don’t you try tossing an olive leaf or two into the fire? Saint Vasilis will tell you who loves you the most!