British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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384                                st. faith's day.                        [Oct. 6~
alluding to the customs allowed at Nottingham, says that the mayor of Nottingham formerly appears to have given a feast of hot roast geese on the last day of his mayoralty previous to the election of his successor.
At Great Crosby, a suburban village about seven miles from Liverpool, early in October, every year there is held a local festival, which is called the " Goose Fail'." The feast takes place when the harvest is gathered in about that part of the country, and so it forms a sort of " harvest-home " gathering for the agriculturists of the neighbourhood. Ii is said also that, at this particular period, geese are finer and fatter after feeding on the stubble-fields than at any other time. Curious to say, however, the bird in question is seldom, if ever, eaten at these feasts.N. & Q. 3rd S* vol. iii. p. 158, and vol. iv. p. 82.
Oct. 6.]                     ST. FAITH'S DAY.
On this day a very curious custom is observed in the North of England. A cake of flour, spring-water, salt, and sugar must be made by three maidens or three widows, and each must have an equal share in the composition. It is then baked before the fire in a Dutch-oven, and, all the while it is doing, silence must be strictly observed, and the cake must be turned nine times, or three times to each person. When it is thoroughly done it is divided into three parts. Eacli one taking her share, and cutting it into nine slips, must pass each slip three times through a wedding-ring previously borrowed from a woman who has been married at least seven years. Then each one must eat her nine slips as she is ■undressing, and repeat the following rhyme:
rt O good St. Faith, be kind to-night, And bring to me my heart's delight; Let me my future husband view, And be my visions chaste and true."
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