Marigold

October's Birthflower/St. Luke's Day

Oct 18

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

October's Birthflower/St. Luke's Day
Marigold
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Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Look: the constant marigold
Springs again from hidden roots.
Baffled gardener, you behold
New beginnings and new shoots ..."

~ Marigolds, Robert Graves

Marigolds and calendulas are mixed up in botanical literature and have inherited each other's folklore and historical usages. The corn marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum) appears to have been a serious weed during the 13th century in Scotland, as suggested by a law of Alexander II which states that if a farmer allows so much as a single plant to produce seed in amongst his crops, then he will be fined a sheep!

Marigold

The Marigold is the birth flower of October.

Calendula officinalis (also called pot marigold, ruddles, common marigold, garden marigold, English marigold, or Scottish marigold) is probably native to southern Europe.  Ornamental varieties range from pale yellow to orange-red.   However, there are many flowers that are known by this name from other families.Marigolds and calendulas are mixed up in botanical literature and have inherited each other's folklore and usages.  The corn marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum) appears to have been a serious weed during the 13th century in Scotland, as suggested by a law of Alexander II which states that if a farmer allows so much as a single plant to produce seed in amongst his crops, then he will be fined a sheep!

Pot marigold florets are edible and are often used to add color to salads or added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron.  

Ancient cultures recognized and used the healing properties of calendula. The flowers have long been applied to cuts and wounds to stop bleeding, prevent infection and speed healing.   Calendula was used in both the American Civil War and World War I on the battlefields in open wounds as anti-hemorrhagic and antiseptic, or as dressing wounds to promote healing. 

Marigolds were also thought to have magical qualities and figure in prominently in country folklore.  The Welsh believed that if marigolds were not open early in the morning, a storm was imminent.  Water made from marigolds was thought to induce psychic visions of fairies if rubbed on the eyelids.

Marigold flowers were added to pillows to encourage prophetic or psychic dreams, especially on St. Luke's Day, October 18th, as a form of flower divination, floramancy.

For a recipe incorporating the beautiful colors of the last of summer with calendula marigold, click the biscuits below for a thyme, lemon, and marigold Scottish shortbread.

Marigold
Marigold

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The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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