British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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110                               st. david's day.                     [March i.
Oxfordshire. In this county the following rhymes were used :
" Good morrow, Valentine! I be thine, and thou be'st mine, So please give me a Valentine 1"
"Good morrow, Valentine!
God bless you ever I If you'll be true to me, I'll be the like to thee.
Old England for ever 1"
" Good morrow, Valentine,
First His yours, then 'tis mine, So please give me a Valentine." The Antiquary, 1873, vol. iii. p. 107 ; Brand, Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. p. 60.
" On Valentine's Day," says Clarkson (Hist of Richmond, 1821, p. 293), " the ceremony of drawing lots called Valentines is seldom omitted. The names of a select number of one sex with an equal number of the other are put into a vessel, and every one draws a name, which is called their Valentine ; and which is looked upon as a good omen of their being afterwards united."
March. I.]              ST. DAVID'S DAY.
Various attempts have been made to account for the custom of wearing the leek. Owen, in his Cambrian Biography (1803), considers it to have originated from the custom of eymlwriha, or the neighbourly aid practised among farmers. He says that it was once customary in some districts of South Wales for all the neighbours of a small farmer without means to appoint a day, when they all met together for the purpose of ploughing his land, or rendering him any service
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