British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

172                                     EASTER MONDAY.                  [MARCH 23.
Melishes or Bosanquets, who were more knowing sportsmen, than to risk either themselves, or their horses, in so desperate a burst. The huntsmen having capped their half crowns, the horn blew just before twelve, as a signal for the old fat one-eyed-stag (kept for the day) being enlarged from the cart. He made a bound of several yards, over the heads of some pedestrians, at first starting, when such a clatter commenced as the days of Nimrod never knew. Some of the scarlet-jackets were sprawling in the high road a few minutes after starting—so that a lamentable return of the maimed, missing, thrown, and thrown out, may naturally be supposed. Every Day Book, vol. ii. p. 460; see Long Ago, 1873, vol. i. pp. 19,44, 83, 146 ; also N. & Q 4th S. vol. x, pp. 373, 399,460,478; xi. p. 26.
At this season, in the neighbourhood of Eoss, the rustics have a custom called corn-showing. Parties are made to pick out cockle from the wheat. Before they set out they take with them, cake, cider, and a yard of toasted cheese. The first person who picks the cockle from the wheat has the first kiss of the maid and the first slice of the cake. This custom, doubtless, takes its origin from the Roman as appears from the following line of Ovid (Fasti, i. 691):—
" Et careant loliis oculos vitiantibus agri."
•" Let the fields be stripped of eye-diseasing cockle."
—Fosbroke, Ariconensia or Archaeological Sltetche* of Eoss and Archtnfitld, 1822.
At this season young people go out holiday-making in public-houses, to eat pudding-pies, and this practice is called going a pudding-pieing. The pudding-pies are from the size of a teacup to that of a small tea-saucer. They are flat, like pastrycooks' cheesecakes, made with a raised crust to hold a small quantity of custard, with currants lightly sprinkled on the surface. Pudding-pies and cherry-beer usually go together at these feasts.—Hone's Tear Book, 1838, p. 361.
Previous Contents Next