British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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90                                  SHROVE TUESDAY.                       [FEB. 3.
Last of all are made the Bannich Bruader, or dreaming bannocks, to the ingredients composing which is added a little of that substance which chimney-sweeps call soot, and which contains some charm. In baking these last bannocks the baker must be as mute as a stone—one word would destroy the charm of the whole concern. One is given to each individual, who slips off with it quietly to bed, and, reposing his head on his bannock, he will be gratified by the sight of his beloved in the course of his midnight slumbers.— Stewart, Popular Superstitions of the Highlanders of Scotland, 1851, p. 178.
County of Mid-Lothian.
Ou Shrove Tuesday, in the parish of Inverness, there is a standing match at football between the married and un­married women, in which the former are always victorious.— Stat. Ace. of Scotland, Sinclair, 1795, vol. xvi. p. 19.
Formerly, on this day, the bachelors and married men drew themselves up at the Cross of Scone, on opposite sides. A ball was then thrown up, and they played from two o'clock till sunset. The game was this: He who at any time got the ball into his hands, ran with it till overtaken by one of the opposite party, and then, if he could escape from those of the opposite side who seized him, he ran on; if not, he threw the ball away, unless it was wrested from him by the other party; but no person was allowed to kick it. The object of the married men was to hang it, i.e., to put it three times into a small hole in the moor, the goal or limit, on the one hand; that of the bachelors was to drown it, i.e., to dip it three times into a deep place in the river, the limit of the other. The party who could effect either of these objects won the game. But, if neither party won, the ball was cut into equal parts at sunset. In the course of the play, one might always see some scene of violence between the parties ; but, as the proverb of that part of the country expresses it, "All was fair at the Ball of Scone." This custom is supposed to have had its origin in the days of chivalry.
An Italian, it is said, came into that part of the country,
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