New Year magic in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, the period after Christmas was a time for looking ahead to the new year. Practices included superstitions and methods to predict weather for the coming year. The clergy accepted some of the age-old rituals, but were loathe to allow others. A recent article for looks at Christmas Day fortune telling.

Dr Catherine Rider, author of  Magic and Religion in Medieval England, explaines, "We can see how acceptable the Christmas Day predictions were by looking at the manuscripts of the day. Even in documents written to educate the clergy these superstitions appear alongside notes on how to hear confessions, the Seven Deadly Sins and short moral stories."