British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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Feb. 2.]                           collop Monday.                                57
had also the royal privilege of remittiig punishments.—Book of Days, vol i. p. 214. Stat Ace. of Scotland, Sinclair, 1794, vol. xiii. p. 211.
It was formerly customary in Scotland to hold a football match, the east end of a town against the west, the unmarried men against the married, or one parish against another. The "Candlemas ba'?" as it was called, brought the whole community out in a state of high excitement. On one oc­casion when the sport took place in Jedburgh, the contend­ing parties, after a struggle of two hours in the streets, transferred the contention to the bed of the river Jed, and there fought it out amidst a scene of fearful splash and dabblement, to the infinite amusement of a multitude looking on from the bridge.—Book of Days, vol. i. p. 214.
Westebn Isles of Scotland.
As Candlemas Day comes round, the mistress and servants of each family taking a sheaf of oats, dress it up in woman's apparel, and after putting it in a large basket, beside which a wooden club is placed, they cry three times, " Briid is come ! Briid is welcome!" This they do just before going to bed, and as soon as they rise in the morning, they look among the ashes, expecting to see the impression of Briid's club there, which if they do, they reckon it a true presage of a good crop and prosperous year, and the contrary they take as an ill-omen.—Description of the Western Isles of Scotland, Martin, 1703, p. 119.
The Monday before Shrove Tuesday is so called because it was the last day of flesh-eating before Lent, and our an­cestors cut their fresh meat into collops or steaks, for salting or hanging up until Lent was over; and hence in many places it is customary to have eggs and collops, or slices of bacon at dinner on this day.—Every Day Book, vol. i. p. 241.
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