The informant is Korean American, and she was born and raised in California. She attended schools in Los Angeles.
Saint Agnes’s Eve
Night of January 20th.
It’s a day a virgin can dream of her husband-to-be.
1. Take a shower
2. Place a sprig of rosemary under the pillow.
3. Say before falling asleep: “St Agnes, that’s to lovers kind / Come ease the trouble of my mind,”
4. Go to sleep before 12am.
Things to note:
1. If you can’t attain a sprig of rosemary, set a picture of rosemary as a lock screen on your phone, and place the phone under the pillow. A printed rosemary on paper is also fine.
2. If you see someone’s face clearly, that man is not your future husband. If you see a blurry face, that man is your future husband.
Informant: “I first heard this from my friends when I was in high school. On January 19th, one girl from my class got to know of the Saint Agnes’s day and told her friends about it. Eventually, the story spread through words of mouth and by the lunch time almost the whole class got to know about the ritual. It was January 19th, so it was the night of that day. I still remember that day. Girls were talking about it wherever they went. The story went into the teachers’ ears, and the topic was even brought up on class.”
“Some girls said they would just put a picture of rosemary on their phone, but my friends insisted having a real rosemary. I followed my friends, and at a flower shop we could obtain sprigs of rosemary. We just wanted to make it really work, so we followed the traditional methods as possible. At night, I took a long shower, placed a sprig of rosemary under my bed, and talked with my friends over the phone. We were all excited and we were asking questions like “what type of husbands do you want?” After the phone call, I said the prayer and went to sleep. It was before 12.”
“The next day all the girls were once again talking about the Saint Agnes’s day. Some girls saw a face, while others didn’t. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything. I opened my eyes and it was the next day morning. My friend insisted strongly that she saw a face in her dream, and she explained his appearances too. I still don’t know if the ritual really works. I never tried after that day. But it seemed like some girls really saw faces that night.”
This folklore originates from England. The prayers girls are supposed to say before going to sleep, are from ‘The Eve of St. Agnes,” a poem (42 stanzas) by John Keats, written in 1819 and published in 1820. I don’t know how this folklore reached the informant’s high school in Los Angeles. However it is certain that there were modifications to the ritual, since the procedures that were told to the informant differ from the traditional Saint Agnes’s Eve ritual. The traditional way is has more things to prepare, as well as more steps and regulations. I bet today’s story of Saint Agnes’s day is different from the story the informant heard. The ritual spreads mostly among young girls, especially since the ritual claims to have an effect on virgins.