oman festival of the Winter Solstice, the January Kalends; and the beliefs and customs which go with its celebration still more plainly mark its origin. Our farmers believe, for instance, that these days which now are passing--the twelve days, called coumtié, immediately preceding Christmas--are foretellers of the weather for the new twelve months to come; each in its turn, by rain or sunshine or by heat or cold, showing the character of the correspondingly numbered month of the new year. That the twelve prophetic days are those which immediately precede the solstice puts their endowment with prophetic power very far back into antiquity. Our farmers, too, have the saying, 'When Christmas falls on a Friday you may sow in ashes'--meaning that the harvest of the ensuing year surely will be so bountiful that seed sown anywhere will grow; and in this saying there is a strong trace of Venus worship, for Friday--Divèndre in Provençal--is the day sacred to the goddess of fertility and be
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