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Blacksmithing Traditions

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So, what traditions do you associate with blacksmithing or anvils? I've heard about ringing the anvil for the dead, striking it three times to keep the devil's chains strong, anvil/blacksmith weddings in Scotland, anvil shooting, and upside down horseshoes.

 

What do you do? Recent traditions okay. I'd rather leave off the myths about burning down buildings for nails and Civil War horn breaking though.

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I make up my own sometimes. Somebody had to start the old ones. Why not make new ones? I read that in some small parts of Africa the locals will have a special blacksmithing language. That and in other parts of the world a feast was held for the unveiling of a new anvil. The smith would strike it to start the party and food and wine were placed on the anvil.

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i only know about one anvil related, you don't leave your hammer on the anvil overnight, or else the devil will come to your smithy and do his evil work or something

then there's one not really blacksmith related but still, you never give someone a knife, you must always pay or be payed for one, even if it's just a penny, or else the knife will sever the friendship

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When I go to work in the morning, I great my shop and anvil with a " GOOD MORNING! " and brush the face of my anvil with my hand.

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Well the anvil/blacksmith weddings in Scotland is not a tradition; just a legal oddity: to get married in England took quite some time and you had to have parental permission if you were not of age.  In Scotland there was a legal form of marriage where the participants married themselves by announcing it in public before witnesses.

 

Now Gretna Green was the first town across the Border along the major post road, (their version of an interstate back then), and the blacksmith's shop was right along the road in town and was a public place with witnesses that could be expected to still be there it things went to court.  So it was the de facto place for people to elope to for quickie marriages---sort of like Las Vegas in the USA.  No special power of being a smith---it could have just as well been the greengrocer's if that place had been in the right location...

 

Now a tradition we have been fostering in the smithing community is the ringing of the anvil by smiths when another smith has died 1 blow per year of life.

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Now a tradition we have been fostering in the smithing community is the ringing of the anvil by smiths when another smith has died 1 blow per year of life.

 

My great-grandfather was a blacksmith who lived to 137 years old. At his funeral we couldn't find anybody who could count that high, so we just rang his anvil till we got bored. 

True story!

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