British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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March 8.]
March 5.]                ST. PIRAN'S DAY.
The tinners observe this day, says Hitchins in his History of Cornwall (1844, vol. i. p. 725), as a holiday, which they call St. Piran's Day. This, by a custom established from time immemorial, sanctions a suspension from all labour, because St. Piran is supposed to have communicated some important information relative to the tin manufacture.
March 8.]                 CARE SUNDAY.
This day, the ancient Passion Sunday, is the fifth Sunday after Shrove Tuesday. The word Care, which is also applied to Christmas Cakes, has been a stumbling-block to etymolo­gists. The following remarks respecting its derivation are taken from Hampson's Med. AEvi Kalend. (1841, vol. i. p. 178):—T. Mareschall observes that the day on which Christ suffered, is called in German both Gute Freytag and Karr Freytag, and that Karr signified a satisfaction for a fine or penalty. Adelung speaking of Charfreytag (Care or Carr Friday) and Charwoche (Care or Carr-weelc, observes that the first syllable is supposed to be the old Cara, preparation (Zubereitung), and that this week, conformably to the usage of the Jews, was called Preparation Week (ZnbereiU ungswoche) because the sixth day was Preparation day (Zubereitungstag), when the Jews prepared themselves for Easter. Hence the Greeks called Carfriday, Dies Parasceves, of which the Gothic Gartag, or Garfreytag is a translation.
Tatian (Cap. 58) names the Friday before Easter " Garo-tag fora Ostrum," and renders the phrase, " My heart is pre­pared," " Karo ist mein herza." Schiller's opinion, however, that Char, Kar, signifies mourning, complaint, sorrow, has
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