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Why do you carry a herring scale in your wallet?

By the late 16th century, more then eight hundred thousand Dutch and Frisians, a not inconsiderable part of entire population, were employed in herring fishing. The fisheries were an important sector of growing economy, especially the herring fishery, also known as the “Great Fishery”. A specialized ship type was developed. Thanks to the “Herring Buss”, Dutch herring fishermen were able to follow the herring to the sandbanks of the Dogger Bank and other places far from the Dutch shores, and stay away for months at a time. – Why do you carry a herring scale in your wallet? – I got it from my dad. One carries fish’s scale in their wallet in order to be rich. There is this abundance of scales at the time of Christmas because of the mass butchering of fish in every household. – I was on a beach, could be somewhere in Zeeland, or Friesland. I walked long distances gazing out to the water. Occasionally I bent down and caught a glimpse of a glimmering dot of light buried between grey grains of sand.

One reliable sign of herring’s presence is an infinite number of scales floating on the surface of the water after a shoal had passed by. They shimmer like minute particles of silver dust in the sunlight and create a thin, milky film on the water after dusk.

Once the herring shoal has been sighted, it was fished during the following night.

A peculiarity attributed to the herring is that, when dead, it begins to glow. This unusual property resembles phosphorescence. When the herring dies, it produces this magical, luminous substance that peaks a few days after death and then disappears as the herring decays. It is like an odd extension of life by means of generating light.