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 24.]                easter Tuesday.                                179
On Easter Monday several hundreds of young persons of the town and neighbourhood of Portaffery resort, dressed in their best, to a pleasant walk near that town, called " The Walter." The avowed object of each person is to see the fun, which consists in the men kissing the females, without reserve, whether married or single. This mode of salutation is quite a matter of course; it is never taken amiss, nor with much show of coyness; the female must be very ordinary indeed, who returns home without having received at least a dozen hearty kisses. Tradition is silent as to the origin of this custom, which of late years is on the decline, especially in the respectability of the attendants. — The Table Book, p. 506.
Evert Easter Tuesday, in pursuance of an ancient custom, the boys of Christ's Hospital, London, pay a visit to the Mansion House, and receive from the Lord Mayor the customary Easter gifts. On reaching the Mansion House, they march into the Egyptian Hall, and on passing the Lord Mayor, receive a gratuity in coins fresh from the mint. To the fifteen Grecians a guinea each is given; nine pro­bationers, half-a-guinea; forty-eight monitors, half-a-crown; and the ordinary scholars, one shilling each. Each boy also before leaving receives a glass of wine and two buns. The boys wear linen badges on their coats, on which the words "He is risen" are inscribed. After this ceremony, the Lord Mayor and the rest of the civic authorities go in the customary state to Christ Church, Newgate Street, where the second Spital sermon is preached. At this service the whole of the Christ's Hospital boys attend.— See Daily News, April 12th, 1871, and April 3rd, 1872.
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