Saturday, April 23, 2011

White Saturday

In the Czech tradition, today is Bílá sobota (White Saturday). I'm not sure exactly why it is called White Saturday other than the fact that the past fews days of Holy Week were spent at cleansing the soul, body and dwellings, so that everything was to be spick and span. Bílá sobota is regarded as a lucky day for sowing. The farmers place ashes on their fields to ensure a good crop, and shake the trees, so that they'll yield a lot of fruit. They say that if it rains on Bílá sobota, it will rain often during the coming year. So we know rain on Good Friday - bad, rain on Holy Saturday - good. I'd hate to be a weatherman during this time!

In Ireland, the people ate a lot of fish during Lent and by the end of Lent were probably pretty tired of it, so on Holy Saturday, the butchers would lead the people in a funeral for a fish. I'm vegan, so I don't get tired of anything we eat, since there's a lot of variety. However, in the German tradition of Good Friday, last night I did fry up a batch of tofu using spices for fish. It was really good. I slathered the slices with garlic paste, then coated them with a mixture of Indian spices and flour before frying them up crispy. Delish!

One of the more amusing things I've discovered in the research, was the penchant in Norway for reading crime stories and detective novels during Easter. In order to cash in on this national pastime, publishers churn out series of books known as "Easter-Thrillers" or Påskekrimmen. TV stations, radio and newspapers also jump on the bandwagon by running detective series based on the works of famous crime novelists such as Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Simenon and Ruth Rendell. Interesting that it was during this time that I stumbled upon my latest addiction - China Bayles mysteries (she runs an herb shop) and Theodosia Browning mysteries (she runs a tea shop). I am currently reading Witches Bane by Susan Wittig Albert and Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs.

Okay, it's a beautiful day and I'm off to Lowe's to take advantage of their free tree give-a-way today in celebration of Earth Day and then a trip to the library! Get thee to a Lowe's near you to get a tree, and check out a good mystery to lose yourself in, in the Norwegian tradition!

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