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 23.]                      easter monday.                                   1G9
In some parts of Ireland at Easter a cake, with a garland of meadow flowers, is elevated upon a circular board upon a pike, apples being stuck upon pegs around the garland. Men and women then dance round, and they who hold out longest win the prize.*—Time's Telescope, 1826, p. 87.
March 23.]             EASTER MONDAY.
In the Parliamentary Returns of 1786 a donor of the name of Randell is stated to have given by deed, in 1597, five quarters of wheat and money to the poor of Edlesborough. Forty-nine bushels of wheat were yearly sent by Lady Bridgewater to the mill to be ground in respect of this charity. They were ground, and the flour baked at her expense; the bread was made up in four-pound loaves, which were given away by the parish officers on Easter Monday to all the poor of the parish, in shares varying according to the size of the families, a loaf being given to each individual.— Old English Customs and Charities, p. 18.
Pasch eggs are begged at the farmhouses; the children 6ing a short song, asking for—
" Eggs, bacon, apples, or cheese, Bread or corn, if you please, Or any good thing that will make us merry."
These eggs are in some parts of the county boiled in vinegar, and otherwise ornamented, and hung up in the houses until another year. In some cottages as many as a score may be seen hanging. The custom of lifting is also ob­served.— Jour, of Arch. Assoc, 1850, vol. v. p. 253.
In a pamphlet entitled Certayne Collections of Anchiante Times, concerning the Anchiante and Famous Cittie of Chester,
* Plutarch mentions a trial for dancing : a cake the prize.
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