°

St Catherine

St Catherine's Day 25th NovemberSt Catherine 25th November

This is a day with several meanings: arrival of winter in Estonia, the martyrdom of St Catherine by the Romans and Catherinettes Day in France.

 Sponsored Links
 ∇
 

St Catherine Statue and PrayersSt Catherine's Day

One ancient custom is that on 25th of November the girls should visit a statue of St Catherine, where they make a little prayer for a husband. 

Saint Catherine be good
We have no hope
but you
You are our protector
Have pity on us
We implore you on our knees
Help us to get married
For pity's sake, give us a husband
For we're burning with love
Deign to hear the prayer
Which comes from our overburdened hearts
Oh you who are our mother
Give us a husband

In England we have a shorter folk saying:

St Catherine, St Catherine, O lend me thine aid,
And grant that I never may die an old maid.

A Historical Perspective on Catherine

St. Catherine: although a noted Christian saint and martyr she was probably a mythological invention; un-documented sources put her as a scholar in the early 4th century.

Martyrdom: As a Christian, Catherine of Alexandria, (Saint Catherine of the Wheel) was sentenced the Roman Emperor Maxentius, the barbaric method in favour for women was torture then death on the wheel.  However, when Catherine was placed on the wheel it was the one that broke.  She was then beheaded, and later achieved the status of Saint.  Incidentally, Joan of Arc said that Saint Catherine appeared to her on more than one occasion. 

 In the late middle ages St. Catherine was one of the most influential saints and her feast day on November 25th was a popular one.

Catherine of Aragon was born on 16th December 1485, died 7th January 1536 - was also known as Katherine or Katharine, and she was the first wife of King Henry VIII, (and also the first wife to Henry's older brother who died, Arthur, Prince of Wales). She lived in Bedfordshire as the Queen of England at Ampthill 1531 to 1533, until Henry VIII divorced her.

There is a local recipe from Bedfordshire to celebrate St. Catherine's Day on the 25th of November, with cakes which were also named after Catherine of Aragon, a famous Tudor inhabitant of the county. It can be found on this recipe page.:

Catterning Traditions

The traditions of Catterning appear to Will and Guy to be very similar to those of Souling which is celebrated on the 2nd November.

Indeed, Charlotte Burn, in 1914, argued persuasively that these were all aspects of the same custom, we have learned.

The traditions of Catterning were first mentioned in 1730 and like 'souling' beggars and children went around on the 25th November to houses singing and knocking on doors for cakes and breads, (in some counties it was for apples and beer). However Charlotte Burn noted that Catterning, unlike Souling, was (probably) mainly a tradition for women, and/or women dressed up like men.

The Reverend WD Parish, Vicar of Selmeston, Sussex, England, in 1875 records this tradition as: "catterning". To go catterning is to go round begging for apples and beer for a festival on St. Catherine's Day, and singing:

Catterning

'Cattern' and Clemen' be here, here, here,
Give us your apples and give us your beer,
One for Peter, Two for Paul,
Three for him who made us all ;
Clemen' was a good man,
Cattern' was his mother;
Give us your best, And not your worst,
And God will give your soul good rest.'

Catherinettes - Husbands, Hats and 25Catherinettes 25th November

In France women who reach the age of 25 and are not married are called Catherinettes.  Their motto is: 'Lord, give me a husband who's bearable, or who can at least pass as bearable in the world!'   Whereas French girls under 25 would pray: 'Lord, give me a well-situated husband. Let him be gentle, rich, generous, and pleasant!'

Catherinettes form support groups, and they can be recognised by their hats, which are yellow (for faith) and green (for wisdom), topped off by some eye-catching feature.  Tradition has it that Catherinettes should wear the hat for the entire day without taking it off even indoors.  Milliners in France, and elsewhere, have not been slow to produce ranges of hats to celebrate St Catherine's Day.

˘

Catherinettes Humour

Mathematics of Marriage

  1. Smart man + smart woman = romanceCatherinette Humour
  2. Smart man + dumb woman = pregnancy
  3. Dumb man + smart woman = affair
  4. Dumb man + dumb woman = marriage
  5. Smart boss + smart employee = profit
  6. Smart boss + dumb employee = production
  7. Dumb boss + smart employee = promotion
  8. Dumb boss + dumb employee = overtime

St Catherine Day Jokes

A Question Of Marriage GuidanceWomen funny pictures and  short stories

Vicky, a young single lady visits the local dating agency and explains, 'I'm looking for a husband.  Can you please help me to find a suitable one?'

The dating receptionist needs to find out some details so she asks, 'What are your requirements, please?'

'Well, let me see.' Vicky says, 'He needs to be fine looking, polite, humorous, sporty, knowledgeable, good at singing and dancing.  Willing accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure hours, if I don't go out.  Telling me interesting stories when I need companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest.'

The receptionist listens politely and carefully and responds, 'I understand. You need a television.'

Catherinette One-liners

  • Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet.  Mae West.
  • 'It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.'  Tallulah Bankhead
  • A husband is like a fire, he goes out when unattended.
  • Marriage is an institution in which a man loses his bachelor's degree, and the woman gets her master's.

Footnote:
Please send us your interpretation of St Catherine's Day - 25th November.

If you like this page then please share it with your friends

 


See more Saints Days and other examples of special events:

Special Day Events   • St David's Day   • St Patrick's Day   • St George's Day   • St Andrew's Day

4th July   • Welsh humour   • Scottish jokes   • Burns Night   • Shrove Tue   • Candlemas

Special day today   • Bastille Day   • St Swithin's   • Lammas   • Lady Day   • May Day