“Dumb Cakes were a Christmas tradition reserved exclusively for single young girls keen to know who their husband would be. On Christmas Eve, maidens would make a cake in complete silence, place it in the oven and, at the stroke of midnight, open the front door. If they were in luck, their husband-to-be would appear, walk through the door and turn the cake.” Taken from Schott’s Christmas Miscellany
I love this idea of a man just appearing like that – he was probably on his way home from the pub and smelled the cake cooking! But what happened to the girls who had no-one coming through their front door? Poor things…destined to bake in silence and stare out of the front door. At least they had a cake to comfort them. God bless Mrs Pankhurst!
So once the girls have baked their cakes in silence and their dream fellow has come through the front door, it’s time to bring on the mistletoe! Not so quick though – they’ve only got as long as the berries last!
“The custom of kissing under the mistletoe may be linked to the superstition that the plant had unique powers of fertility. One tradition is that every time a kiss is obtained under the mistletoe, a berry is removed; once the berries are gone, the kissing must stop.” Also taken from Schott’s Christmas Miscellany