Myths about Christmas: Prefer not to hang up the laundry between days?

Myths about Christmas
Why you should reconsider hanging laundry between days

© Martin Schütz / Adobe Stock

No laundry for a week? According to a custom, one should not wash and hang up laundry between Christmas and New Year. That’s behind it.

After the cozy Christmas days, the mountain of laundry is screaming at you to finally be washed. Or is it perhaps better to leave it alone? According to a Germanic, pre-Christian legend, bad things could happen if you can’t resist the urge to keep things in order.

The spirit realm opens during the rough nights

According to legend, the spirit realm opens in the so-called rough nights – to be precise, in the six nights before and after the winter solstice on December 21st. At this time the spirits can leave their realm. Traditionally, in the period between Christmas and New Year, houses and stables were smoked with incense to protect against evil spirits.

In these nights a wild army is to move through the air with a roar. According to tradition, anyone who hears this hunt must expect misfortune. The army is said to consist of evil spirits and people who have died a violent death.

Why you shouldn’t hang laundry between days

The myth is actually somewhat macabre. Hanging tablecloths, linens, and sheets should not be hung up between days, otherwise the evil spirits could get caught in them. Another interpretation even says that the hanging cloths would be used as shrouds, so someone could die accordingly. Elsewhere it is said that the laundry would disturb the angels’ dance in the attic.

Another superstition says that especially young women are not allowed to hang out white laundry in the days between Christmas and New Year. Because these could even attract the wild riders of the army. Seduced by the innocence of the white sheets, they would pounce on the young women.

Whether you believe the myths or not is of course up to you. Nevertheless, it can be relaxing and liberating to leave the laundry behind at the end of the year and enjoy the peace and quiet. In the new year you can start again with a lot of power and get rid of the mountains of laundry.

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