British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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396                                       HALLOW EVE.                           [OCT. 31.
accompanying ceremonies, to prevent the baneful influence of fairies and witches. The island was perambulated at night by young men who stuck up at the door of every dwelling-house, a rhyme in Manks, beginning:
* Noght oie howney hop-dy-naw, This is Hollantide Eve,'' &c.
On Hollantide Eve, boys go round the town shouting out * doggrel, of which the following is an extract:
" This is old Hollantide night; The moon shines fair and bright; I went to the well And drank my fill; On the way coming back I met a pole-cat; The cat began to grin And I began to run; Where did you run to ? I ran to Scotland ; What were they doing there ? Baking bannocks and roasting coiiops. *           *****            *
If you are going to give us anything, give us it soon, Or we'll be away by the light of the moon !"
For some peculiar reason, potatoes, parsnips, and fish, pounded together and mixed with butter, form always the evening meal.—Train, History of the Isle of Man, 1845, vol. ii. p. 123.
In the reign of Charles I., the young gentlemen of the Middle Temple were accustomed at All Hallow Tide, which they considered the beginning of Christmas, to associate themselves for the festive objects connected with the season. In 1629 they chose Bulstrode Whitelocke as Master of the Bevels, and used to meet every evening at St. Dunstan's Tavern, in a large new room, called " The Oracle of Apollo," each man bringing friends with him at his own pleasure. It was a kind of mock parliament, where various questions were discussed as in our modern debating societies, but these temperate proceedings were seasoned with mirthful doings,
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