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 20.]
GOOD FRIDAY.
153
about five in diameter—have a mingled bitter and sweet taste. In return for these cakes, which are always distributed after Divine service on Good Friday, the clerk receives a gratuity according to the circumstances or generosity of the house­holder.—Book of Days, vol. i. p. 426.
Essex.
In the centre of Waltham Church, and suspended from the ceiling, there formerly was a large and handsome brass chandelier, which had thirty-six candles, and used to be lighted up only on the evening of Good Friday, when the church was thronged with persons from the surrounding parishes for miles, who were chiefly attracted by the singing of the parish choir, at that time deservedly in repute. The chandelier was removed in effecting the restoration of the church.—Maynard, History of Waltham Abbey, 1865, p. 40.
Lancashire.
The practice of eating fig-sue is prevalent in North Lan­cashire on Good Friday. It is a mixture consisting of ale, sliced figs, bread, and nutmeg for seasoning, boiled together, and eaten hot like soup.—N. & Q. 3rd S. vol. p. 221.
If an unlucky fellow is caught with his lady-love on this day in Lancashire, he is followed home by a band of musicians playing on pokers, tongs, pan-lids, etc., unless he can get rid of his tormentors by giving them money to drink with.—N. & Q. 1st S. vol. ii. p. 516.
In some places in this county, Good Friday is termed " Cracklin Friday," as on that day it is customary for chil­dren to go with a small basket to different houses, to beg small wheatcn cakes, which are something like the Jews' Passover bread, but made shorter or richer, by having butter or lard mixed with the flour. " Take with thee loaves and cracknels" (1 Kings, xiv. 3).—Harland and Wilkinson, / Lancashire Folk-Lore, 1867, p. 227.
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