midnight


midnight
   In the daily cycle of *time, midnight represents the deepest point of negativity, when *ghosts, demons, and all uncanny beings are most active. It is prescribed for many *magic rituals and *divinations. In modern times it is mathematically defined, so one is told that such-and-such will happen 'when the clock strikes twelve'; regarded thus, it derives much of its significance from its ambiguous status - does it belong to the day that has just ended or to that which is beginning? However, in earlier centuries the term was more loosely applied, to a period rather than a point of time; it is not clear how long this was considered to be, but all supernatural evil forces were supposed to vanish when the *cocks first crowed.
   Confusingly, midnight is also a time for certain celebratory rites, such as *first footing and seeing the *New Year in. This is because by modern reckoning a day begins at midnight (not at sunset, as in ancient cultures), so the day which inaugurates a new cycle must be launched with joyful and luck-bringing rituals at the earliest opportunity.
   For powers attributed to those born at midnight, see *chime hours.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Midnight DJ — Format Horror, Suspense Created by Bigtop Media Productions/Double Vision Directed by Lore Reyes Starring Oyo Sotto Desiree del Valle …   Wikipedia

  • Midnight — Univers de fiction Genre(s) Médiéval fantastique Auteur(s) Greg Benage Année de création 2003 Pays d’origine États Unis Langue d’origine Anglais S …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Midnight FM — Hangul 심야의 FM Hanja …   Wikipedia

  • Midnight — «Midnight» Sencillo de Elan del álbum Street Child Publicación 13 de junio de 2003 Formato Sencillo Grabación 2003 Género(s …   Wikipedia Español

  • midnight — [mid′nīt΄] n. 1. twelve o clock at night; the middle of the night 2. deep darkness adj. 1. of or at midnight 2. like or suggestive of midnight; very dark [midnight blue] burn the midnight oil to study or work very late at night …   English World dictionary

  • Midnight — Mid night , a. Being in, or characteristic of, the middle of the night; as, midnight studies; midnight gloom. Midnight shout and revelry. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Midnight Rx — The Simpsons episode Homer and Grampa on their way to Canada Episode no. 341 Prod. code FABF16 …   Wikipedia

  • Midnight — Mid night , n. [AS. midniht.] The middle of the night; twelve o clock at night. [1913 Webster] The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • midnight — (n.) O.E. mid niht, or middre niht (with dative). See MID (Cf. mid) + NIGHT (Cf. night). Midnight oil symbolizing late night work is attested from 1630s …   Etymology dictionary

  • midnight — [n] middle of the night 12 o’clock at night, bewitching hour*, dead of night*, small hours*, twelve o’clock at night, witching hour*; concepts 801,802,806 …   New thesaurus

  • midnight — ► NOUN ▪ twelve o clock at night; the middle of the night …   English terms dictionary