A sure sign that spring is on its way is the appearance of ramsons (Wild Garlic). They are just starting to poke through and will soon carpet the woodland floor. Traditionally they were used as a spring green and were thought to be good for digestive problems. It was also said that rabbits would not cross a boundary planted with ramsons.
They can be picked and eaten raw or used as a herb. They are at their best before the flowers appears. Pick the leaf and leave the bulb, if you remove the bulb the plant will not return.
March borrowed from April
Three days and they were ill;
The first o’ them war wind an’ weet,
The next o’ them war snaw an’ sleet,
The last o’ them war wind an’ rain,
Which gaed the silly pair ewes come toddling hame.
A merry Christmas, a happy new year and a jovial Handsel Monday.
A black Christmas makes a fat churchyard.
If the ice bears a goose before Christmas, it will not bear a duck afterwards.
Big as a Christmas pig.
It’s good crying Yule on another mans stool.
A windy Christmas is the sign of a good new year.
Ghosts never appear on Christmas eve.
Busy as an English oven at Christmas.
A kiss at Christmas and an egg at Easter.
A light Christmas, a heavy sheaf.
She simpers like a frummetty kettle at Christmas.
He’s a fool that marries at Yule, for when the bairn’s to bear, the corn’s to shear.
If Christmas day on a Monday fall, a troublous winter we shall have all.
This 15th Century mural was uncovered in 1926 in St Gregory’s church, Bedale.
When parsley is sown it goes nine times to the devil before it comes up.
Only the wicked can grow parsley.
If a loaf of bread is cut at both ends the devil will fly over the house.
It is said that when a woman whistles, the devil rattles his chains.
It is unlucky to meet a red haired woman in the morning.
To keep the cramp away, carry a potato in your pocket.
It is lucky to carry a tip of dried tongue in your pocket.
If you lay a new born child on its left side it will always be awkward
If a child is put upon a bear’s back at a bear baiting he will be cured of the whooping cough.
It is lucky for your first child to be a girl.
If you sit on a table you want to be married.
If you dream of losing your teeth you will lose your best friend.
If you point nine times at the moon you will not go to heaven.
Crooked money brings good luck.
If you throw the gills of a fish over your house they will become a silver spoon.
Let a spoon fall and a fool will come to see you.
It is unlucky to turn a spoon over in your mouth.
It is unlucky for the clock to stand opposite the fire.
It is unlucky to mend your clothes whilst wearing them
It is unlucky to count your teeth.
Never buy black pins unless you are in mourning.
Taken from – Household Tales with other traditional remains. S Addy. 1895
..Bring two shoes and carry one away.
..a fly, a flea, a magpie, and a flitch of bacon.
A fly will tipple with any body, so will a Yorkshireman; a flea will bite every body; so will a Yorkshireman; a magpie will chatter with any body, so will a Yorkshireman; and a flitch of bacon is never good for any thing until it has been hung, no more is a Yorkshireman.
Should the family of the departed one possess a hive, the announcement of a death must at once be made to the bees, and the hive be draped in black. The bees must also have given to them a portion of everything, to the minutest detail, which is offered to the bidden guests, including wine, spirits, tobacco, and pipes; nothing must be omitted, for in some undefined way bees watch over the welfare of those to whom they belong, and it would be unwise to offend them. It is held that if the first swarm following a death, no matter how long the interval, is easy to hive, success is guaranteed for the next business transaction, but should the swarm settle on a dead bough, it foretells death to another of the family in the near future; while should the swarm fly away and be lost, then great care must be exercised in all undertakings, until such times as a swarm has been successfully hived.
Yorkshire Wit, Character, Folklore & Customs. R Blakeborough. 1911
Rev. Atkinson tells of the bees being put into mourning at the death of their master, this account was given to him by the rector of Sessay.
..Presently his attention was aroused by the passage of a woman, the wife of the eldest son of the deceased man. She was carrying a tray, on which he saw there were piled a variety of eatable and drinkable matters. She went straight to the beehive, and he heard her address the bees themselves. Naming the late owner, she said, “John G____ is dead, and his son is now master. He has sent you something out of every dish and jug on the table, and we hope you will be content to take him as the new master.”
Forty Years in a Moorland Parish. 1908