British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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[Dec. si.
"Sae kindly to his neighbour's niest, At Beltane and St. Barchan's feast, He blew and then held up his breist,
As he were wead; But now we needna him arreist, For now he's deid !w Chambers's Pop. Rhymes of Scotland, 1870, p. 391.
Dec. 14.]                  ST. TIBBA'S DAY.
This day was formerly celebrated in Rutlandshire by fowlers aDd falconers, who regarded the saint as their peculiar patroness. Camden mentions the town of Eihall as par­ticularly addicted to this superstitious observance,* and the passage, which is strongly expressed, was ordered to be expunged from his Britannia by the Index Expurgationis, printed at Madrid in 1612 by Louis Sanchez.—Med. AEvi Kalend. vol. i. p. 82.
Dec. 17.]                       SOW DAY.
At Sandwick, in the Orkneys, it is usual for every family to kill a sow, whence this day is called Sow Day. This custom probably has some reference to the heathen worship of the sun, to which, among the northern nations, the male of this animal was sacred.—Sinclair, Stat. Ace. of Scotland, 1793, vol. xvi. p. 460; Med. AEvi Kalend. vol. i. p. 82.
Deo. si.]                 ST. THOMAS' DAY.
In some parts of the country St. Thomas' Day is observed by a custom called Going a Gooding.^ The poor people go
* Kihall, ubi cum majores nostros ita fascinasset superstitio, ut deorum multitudine Deum verum propemodum su&tulisset, Tibba minorum gentium diva, quasi Diana ab aucupibus utique rei accipi-trarise preeses colebatur.—Britan, 8vo. Lond. edit. 1590, p. 419.
t Northamptonshire, Kent, Sussex, Herefordshire, Worcester* shire, etc.
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