British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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86                                  SHROVE TUESDAY.                       [FEB. 3.
An odd practice seems to prevail in some parts of Somerset­shire, and also in Devonshire and Dorsetshire on Shrove Tuesday, which is locally nick-named Sharp Tuesday. The youngsters go about after dusk, and throw stones against people's doors, by what is considered by them an indefeasible right. They at the same time sing in chorus:
" I be come a slirovin Vor a little pankiak ; Abit o' bread o' your baikin, Or a little truckle cheese o' your maikin. If you'll gi' me a little, I'll ax no more, If you don't gi' me nothin, I'll rottle your door."
Brand, Pop. Antiq. (Ed Hazlitt), 1870. vol. i. p. 48.
In this county Shrove Tuesday goes by the name of Goodish Tuesday.—N. & Q. 2nd S. vol. v. p. 209.
At Bury St. Edmund's on Shrove Tuesday, Easter Monday, and the Whitsuntide festivals, twelve old women side off for a game at trap-and-ball, which is kept up with the greatest spirit and vigour until sunset. Afterwards they retire to their homes, where
' Voice, fiddle, or flute, No longer is mute,"
and close the day with apportioned mirth and merriment —Every Day Book, vol. i.p. 430.
The following is taken from the Times of March 7th, 1862:
- Shrove Tuesday was observed, as in days of yore, at
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