Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


0321. In Spain they place a grape in their mouths at each chime of midnight on New Year’s Eve [Westminster, London, January 2012].

2. According to our neighbour who is Spanish – Catalan – you should swallow twelve grapes, one on each chime of midnight on New Year’s Eve – it’s extremely difficult to do, like eating a doughnut without licking your lips – it sounds easy, but is almost impossible [Whitchurch, Hampshire, December 1994].

3. Black cats under grapes – people didn’t actually go out and kill cats, but if you were lucky enough to find a dead cat, especially a black tom, and bury it under your grape vine it would help your grape grow. Black grapes grew better from black toms [Wicken, Cambridgeshire, March 1993].

Images: main, cultivated, Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, London Borough of Lambeth, August 2015; inset, carved panel of pulpit, installed 1911, St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere, Cumbria, May 2015.