Gay Describes The Ceremony:--
: RHAMANTA, OR OMEN SEEKING.
Two hazel nuts I throw into the flame
And to each nut I give a sweetheart's name;
This with the loudest bounce me sore amazed,
That in a flame of brightest-colour blazed;
As blazed the nut, so may thy passions grow,
For 'twas thy nut that did so brightly glow.
Burns, in his poem of Hallowe'en also mentions the nut divination.
The auld guidwife's weel-hoor
Are round an' round divided,
An' monie lads' and lasses' fates
Are there that night decided;
Some kindle, couthie, side by side,
An' burn thegither trimly;
Some start awa' wi' saucy pride,
And jump out-owre the chimlie
Fu' high that night.
Jean slips in twa' wi' tentie e'e;
Wha 'twas, she wadna tell;
But this is Jock, an' this is me,
She says in to hersel':
He bleez'd owre her, and she owre him,
As they wad never mair part;
'Till, fuff! he started up the lum,
An' Jean had e'en a sair heart
To see't that night.