British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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118                                  MID-LENT SUNDAY.                     [MARCH I.
that Braggot is composed of two Welsh words, Brag, malt, and Gots, honeycombs.
In Ben Jonson's masque of the Metamorphosed Gipsies is the following reference to this word:
" And we have serv'd there, armed all in ale, With the brown bowl, and charg'd in braggat stale."
On this day also boys went about in ancient times into the villages with a figure of death made of straw, from whence they were generally driven by the country people, who disliked it as an ominous appearance, while some gave them money to get the mawkin carried off. Its precise meaning under that form is doubtful, though it seems likely to have purported the death of winter, and to have been only a part of another ceremony conducted by a larger number of boys, from whom the death carriers were a detachment, and who consisted of a large assemblage carrying two figures to represent Spring and Winter. These two figures they bore about, and fought; in the fight, Summer or Spring got the victory over Winter, and thus was allegorized the departure or burial of the death of the year, and its commencement or revival as Spring.Every Day Book, vol. i. p. 358.
In the north of England, and also in the Midland Counties, the following names are given to the Sundays of Lent, the first of which however is anonymous:
" Tid, Mid, Misera, Carling, Palm, Paste Egg-day."
Another version of this couplet is given in the Gent. Mag.r 1788, vol. lviii. p. 288.
" Tid, and Mid, and Misera, Carling. Palm, and Good-Pas-Day."
The first three names are no doubt corruptions of some-part of the ancient Latin service or psalms used on each. Brand's Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. p. 116; see the Festa Anglo-Romana, 1678.
In the Gent. Mag. (1785, p. 779) an advertisement for the regulation of Newark fair is quoted, which mentions that " Careing Fair will be held on Friday before Careing
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