British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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May 21.]                  corpus christi day.                             297
Deptford. First there were juggling matches ; then came a booth or two; afterwards a few shows.—Every Day Book, vol. i. p. 724.
At Kidlington, says Blount (Jocular Tenures, Beckwith's edition, p. 281), the custom is that on Monday after Whitsun week there is a fat live lamb provided; and the maids of the town, having their thumbs tied behind them, run after it, and she that with her mouth takes and holds the lamb, is declared Lady of the Lamb, which being dressed, with the skin hanging on, is carried on a long pole before the lady and her companions to the green, attended with music, and a Morisco dance of men, and another of women, where the rest of the day is spent in dancing, mirth, and merry glee. The next day the lamb is part baked, boiled, and roasted, for the lady's feast, where she sits majestically at the upper end of the table, and her companions with her, with music and other attendants, which ends the solemnity.
In North Wales, at Llanasaph, there is a custom of strewing green herbs and flowers at the doors of houses on Corpus Christi Eve.—Pennant's Manuscript quoted by Brand, Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. p. 297.
At Caerwis on Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which they call Dudd Son Duw, or Dydd Gwyl Duw, on the Eve before, they strew a sort of fern before their doors, called red yn mair —Pennant's MS.
Corpus Christi Day is held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, to celebrate, as the name indicates, the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and was instituted in the year 1264 by Pope Urban IV.
In olden times the Skinners' fraternity of Corpus Christi
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