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 12.]                 st. Gregory's day.                             125'
to be preached every 11th of March. The interest of the' other £100 he directed to be given in bread to the poor. Penny loaves were, accordingly given to every one who applied, and the day on which they were distributed, was-called "Penny Loaf Day.'—Hone's Year Book, 1838, p. 301.
March 12.] ST. GREGORY'S DAY,
The feast of St. Gregory the Great, 12th of March, was formerly observed as a holiday, and one of festivity in all the rural schools in the baronies of Forth and Baigy (tha Strongbonian Colony), in the county of Wexford. The manner was this: the children, for some days previous,, brought contributions, according to the means and liberality of their parents, consisting of money, bread, butter, cream, &c, and delivered them to the teacher. On the morning of the joyous day, the children repaired to the school-house in holiday dress, where the teacher had everything prepared for the festivity, the simple temple of learning decorated with the richest flowers within his means of obtaining, and the-presence of two or more kind-hearted females to do the honours and duties of the tea-table to the happy juveniles. A " king " and a " queen" were nominated, who, of course, took the seat of honour, and the proud and busy teacher was everywhere all attention to his little pupils. The day passed off in hflarity and innocent enjoyment, and the competitive system of free offerings left, generally, something pleasing to tell for some days in the pockets and humble cupboard of the teacher. This custom prevailed until after the commencement of the present century.—N. & Q. 2nd S^ vol. vii. p. 392.
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