British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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128                                       PALM SUNDAY.                     [MARCH 15
In former days persons resorted to " Our Lady of Nants-well" with a palm cross in one hand and an offering in the other. The offering fell to the priest's share: the cross was thrown into the well, and if it swam was regarded as an omen that the person who threw it would outlive the year; if however it sank, a short ensuing death was foreboded.— Carew, Survey of Cornwall, 1811.
On Palm Sunday morning, the boys go into the fields and gather branches of the willow; these are carried about during the day, and in some churches it is customary to use them for decoration.—Jour, of Arch. Assoc, 1852, vol. vii p. 204.
The return of Palm Sunday has, from time immemorial, been observed at Hentland Church in a peculiar manner. The minister and congregation receive from the church­wardens a cake or bun, and, in former times, a cup of beer also. This is consumed within the church, and is supposed to imply a desire on the part of those who partake of it ta forgive and forget all animosities, and thus prepare them­selves for the festival of Easter.—N. & Q. Brd S. vol. vii. p. 275.
Hone, in his Tear Book (1838, p. 1593), states that at Kempton it has long been a custom for the inhabitants to eat figs on this day, there termed Fig Sunday, where it is also usual for them to keep wassel, and make merry with their friends.
A curious and quaint custom existed for very many years at Caistor Church, in Lincolnshire, on Palm Sunday, con-
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