British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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52                                     CANDLEMAS EVE.                           [FEB. I
in Newark for raffling on that day, but they were told the Act of Parliament made no exceptions, and the magistrates said they could not give them permission to break the law. On Monday, therefore, no raffling took place, and we may regard the practice as finally put an end to, which will be a matter of great satisfaction to many.—See, Every Day Book, vol. ii. p. 161.
By the common people, the Saturday preceding Shrove Tuesday is called Egg Saturday. This name is employed as a date by Anthony k Wood: " One hundred and ninety-two bachelors to determine this Lent, but twenty-three or there­abouts were not presented on Egg Saturday."—Med. AEvi Kalend. vol. i. p. 158. Lives of Leland, Hearne, and Wood, 1772, vol. ii. p. 297.
Feb. i.]                   CANDLEMAS EVE.
On Candlemas Eve was kindled the yule-brand, which was allowed to burn till sunset, when it was quenched and care­fully laid by to teend (i.e. light) the Christmas clog or log at the next return of the season. Thus Herrick, Hesjperides9 p. 337, says:
'' Kindle the Christmas Brand, and then Till sunne-set let it burne ; Which quencht, then lay it up agen Till Christmas next returne.
Part must be kept wherewith to teend
The Christmas Log next yeare; And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend
Cau do no mischiefe there."
The rosemary, the bay, the ivy, the holly, and the mistletoe, the Christmas decorations of hall and cottage, were now
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