Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter's Eve

Winter's Eve
Natalia Belting ~ Alan E. Cober ~ Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1969

Though the word winter is in the title (and we are all in the thick of it here in the US), this book actually speaks to September 28, the day before winter when, according to old folklore, all sorts of evil, awful creatures come out to get people. Way back when, there were old English festivals designed to ward off the riff raff with all sorts of rituals one could do to protect themselves from such mischief "like walking nine times about a haycock backward with your eye's shut to stave off the black witches and demons on Halloween."

Now, having grown up in Pawley's Island, SC, this was not unlike the the ritual we used to perform on Alice's grave in hopes of catching a glimpse of her ghostliness, though we never attempted it at midnight as the legend asserts. But I digress...

The book is essentially a long poem celebrating and spooking this hallowed festival following the days between the 28th and Halloween night...

For now
Is the time
The spirits go abroad,
Now comes the time of evil,
The dark time of the year,
Winter's Eve.

The pen and ink drawings are spectacular and very fitting of a book meant not only to inform but also give you a wee bit of the willies. A little Halloween throughout the year never hurt anyone, well... except maybe this guy.


Joy said...

Never heard of that. Fascinating! You grew up in Pawley's Island?! I grew up in Beaufort just a little ways south on the same coast. :)

Tera said...

That is a really cool book. I have never heard seen it before. I think it's beautiful!

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