Thursday, April 26, 2018

W is for Watermelon Divination (WTF Hungary - Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales)

Welcome to this year's A to Z Challenge titled WTF Hungary - Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales! You can find all other participating blogs on the A to Z Challenge main blog.

This fun moment is a part of a longer folktale, titled The Tale of Peter, collected from Sâncraiu de Mureș (Marosszentkirály), Romania.

This tale begins with the son of a shoemaker (Péter), and the youngest daughter of a king (Anka) going to school together. They fall in love as they grow up together, and Anka decides that she wants to marry Péter and no one else. So, she goes to her two sisters, and tells them she wants to get married. Eventually, she convinces them to go to the king, and tell him that they are all old enough to find husbands.
The king, however, is not quite on board with the idea of giving away his daughters so soon (they grow up so fast!). So, he gives all three a coin, and tells them to go buy a watermelon. When the girls come home with their watermelons, the king cuts each watermelon open, to see how ripe it is. The first watermelon is overripe. "You should have married three years ago!" The second is overripe too. "You should have married last year!" The third one, Anka's, is just ripe enough. "You should get married this year!"

Of course, the king does not want his daughter to marry the son of the shoemaker, so Péter has to go off first, have all kinds of adventures, and become a king, before he can come back and elope with Anka. All is well in the end, of course.

Bonus info: According to Hungarian belief, watermelons are really only good until September 5th, the feast of St. Lawrence. That is why we say that "St. Lawrence pees in the watermelons." And spoils them.


  1. I'll have to rethink eating watermelons in October after reading about St. Lawrence:)
    Cute tale today.
    V is for Vintage

  2. I'm glad I don't eat watermelon that late in the year!

  3. I think e are right about when to eat watermelon. Although I don't like them.I
    I love stories with 3s.
    Facing Cancer with Grace

  4. What a strange way to tell if a girl is ready to marry. I do wonder what happened to the other sisters.

    Warzone by The Wanted

  5. I like watermelons. I'm not sure about using them for marriage advice.

  6. Watermelons seem just the right way to tell if a girl is ready or not! did the other princesses time travel back to find their husbands I wonder?

  7. I'm just glad nobody gave birth to a watermelon after the divination.

  8. I wonder if cantaloupes or honeydews will do the trick... or if saints pee on them?

  9. Dad's marriage advice was for the pits.

    Tale Spinning

  10. I like this tale, just as I like watermelon. Although now I'll be considering a cut-off date for enjoying the treat. I remember hearing a Vietnamese folktale about how a watermelon tossed in the sea helped reunite a prince banished from his kingdom. Maybe watermelons are a lot more royal than the humble fruit I've always imagined them to be.

  11. So the peeing is a bit like the devil spitting on blackberries at Michaelmas :)
    Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

  12. Perfectly sound parenting, I guess...? I'm not a fan of watermelon but now I'll have to tell everyone I see eating it in October your little tidbit, lol.
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons