British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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482                                 christmas DAY,                      [dec. 25.
At Bewdley it was the custom for the bellman to go round on Christmas morning, ringing his bell in several parts of the town, and singing the following doggerel, first saying, " Good morning, masters and mistresses all, I wish you all a merry Christmas ":
" Arise mistress, arise, And make your tarts and pies, And let your maids lie still; For if they should rise and spoil your pies
You'd take it very ill. Whilst you are sleeping In your bed, I the cold wintry nights must tread, Past twelve o'clock. Ehe !"
Kidderminster Shuttle, Dec. 2nd, 1871.
At Yardley such of the poor as are excluded from partaking of certain doles on account of receiving regular weekly relief, are allowed one shilling each out of a general charity fund at Christmas, under the name of plum-pudding money, to the extent of about 4l.—Edwards, Old English Customs and Charities, p. 23.
Blount tells us that, in Yorkshire and other northern parts, after sermon or service on Christmas Day, the people will, even in the churches, cry <k Ule! Ule!" as a token of rejoicing; and the common sort run about the streets sing­ing :
•' Ule! Ule! Ule! Ule! Three puddings in a pule, Crack nuts and cry Ule!
S^e Brand, Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. pp. 476-477.
One never-failing remnant of the olden time observed in this county, says Soane (Curiosities of Literature), was the cheese, which had been especially made and preserved for the season. It was produced with much ceremony by every rustic dame, who, before she allowed it to be tasted, took a sharp knife and scored upon it rude resemblances to the cross. To this were added the mighty wassail bowl brimming wi
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