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Palm Sunday follows Carlin Sunday, and hercafter), is of the common opinion, that as is that immediately preceding Easter. It the word east signifies the place of rising, was so denominated by the church of Rome, being so called “ from its being that quarter because of palm branches being borne, in where, owing to the earth's rotatory motion, commemoration of those that were strewed in the sun and stars appear to rise, so Easter the way when our Saviour entered Jerusalem. signifies the time of rising, or the festival of In many parts of England, the day is still the rising of Jesus Christ :” but this is more celebrated by bearing boughs in procession; than doubtful; according to the venerable but in northern latitudes, the box, the olive, Bede, the term was of Heathen origin. and the blooming willow, are used as substi- “Easter monath,” says he," which is now tutes for the palun ; and this circumstance is rendered the Paschal month, formerly redoubtless the occasion of the last-mentioned ceived its name from a goddess, worshipped tree being, in Cumberland, called by the by the Saxons and other ancient nations of vulgar, the palm.

the north, called Eostre, in whose honour Mandy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, they observed a festival in this month.” is the Thursday immediately before Good “ From the name of this goddess," he adds, Friday. It is the Dies Mandati, the day on they now design the Paschal season, giving which our Saviour gave his great mandate a name to the joys of a new solemnity, from that we should love one another, and on a term familiarized by the use of former which he washed the feet of his disciples. ages.” The Anglo-Saxon term, is hence reThe practice of washing the feet was long tained in our translation of the Bible, alkept up in the monasteries, and after the though Wielif uses Pask. The ancient ceremony, liberal donations were made to the Germans called it Oostrun, and their posterity poor, of clothing and pieces of silver ; re. have changed the term to Ostern, Osterdag ; freshment was also given to them, to mitigate also written Ooster, Oosteren, and Oosterdag. the severity of the long fast. A relic of this Thence the Paschal lamb is in their version custom is still preserved in the donations dis. often rendered Osterlamb. The entrance of pensed at St. James's on this day.

the sun into Aries, has always been a time of Good Friday is an appellation peculiar to festivity amongst the Persians, Egyptians, and the English Church. Holy Friday, or Fri. others. The ancient Egyptians, observing day in Iloly Week, being more ancient and the sun removing from their climates, began general. Buns, with crosses stamped upon to fear that a day would arrive when it would them, hence called Cross-Buns, are usually quit them entirely,* and consequently they eaten in London and other places on this day, every year celebrated with rejoicing, the at breakfast.

period when they observed its reascen. Bryant carries this word, Bun, back to sion. Heathenism. “ The offerings," he says,

In Scotlard, and in the north of England, “ which people in ancient times used to pre a custom prevails, of boiling eggs hard, and sent to the gods, were generally purchased at dying or staining them of various colours, the entrance of the temple; especially every and giving them to children to amuse them species of consecrated bread. One species of selves with, especially on Easter Sunday. sacred bread which used to be offered to the In these places children ask for their pays gods, was of great antiquity, and called Boun. eggs, as they are termed, at this season, as Hesychius speaks of the Boun, and describes for a fairing. The words, pays, pas, pace, it, " a kind of cake with a representation of pase, + pasce, pask, pusch, words used in two horns.” Julius Pollux mentions it after North Britian to signify Easter, are clearly the same manner, “a sort of cake with derived from the Hebrew, through the Greek horns.” It must be observed, however, as tarya. The Danish panske-egg, and the Dr. Jamieson has remarked, that the term Suis-Gothic paskegg, both likewise signify occurs in Hesychius in the form of Bous, bous; coloured eggs. Brand considers this custom and that, for the support of this etymon,

as a relic of ancient Catholicism, the eggs Bryant finds it necessary to observe that being emblematic of the resurrection : but it « the Greeks, who changed the nu final into a is not improbable that it had its commencesigma, expressed it in the nominative Bous, ment in the times of heathenism; the egg but in the accusative more truly Beur, boun." being a sacred symbol in the pagan worship. - Supplement, p. 159.)

They are still used at the feast of Beltein, which is unquestionably of heathen origin, and are presented about the period of Easter,

in many countries. CHAPTER III.

EASTER.

" Nam rudis ante illos nullo dixcriinine vita,

In speciem conversa, operum ratione corelat, CONSIDERABLE discussion has occurred from

Et stupefacta novo pendebat lumine mudi : time to time, regarding the origin of the term Tnm velut amissis inærens, tun, lata renatis Easter. Dr. Forster (in another of his + *The sextene day eftyr Pase

Sideribus."

Manilii Astronom. 1. 61. works, however, which will fall under notice The States of Scotland yad ryd waso." Wyntown,

[graphic]

the cuckoo, being anxious to see it, are often are said to bare actually died by their imavery assiduous to obtain their gratification. ginary fears on this occasion. But, as this bird changes its place so secretly Another superstition, also of the north of and suddenly–when they think they are England, is that of Ass-ridlin--the ashes bejust within reach of it, they hear it cry at a ing riddled or sifted on the hearth. Should considerable distance. Thus they run from any of the family die within the year, the place to place, still finding themselves as far mark of the shoe; it is supposed, will be imremoved from their object as ever. Hence pressed on the ashes; and many a misthe phrase, “hunt the gowk," may have chievous wiglit has made some of the supercome to be used for any fruitless attempt, stitious family miserable, by slily coming and particularly for those vain errors on down stairs, after the rest of the family have which persons are sent on the 1st of April."* retired to rest, and marking the ashes with

The custom of making April fools, seems the shoe of one of the party. to be a relic of a high and general pagan fes Pennant has also observed, that, in North tival, at which the most unbounded hilarity Wales, no farmer dare hold his team on St. prevailed; and, like many other of these pe- Mark's day, because, as they believe, “ one riodical observances, seems to have an ori- man's team was marked with the loss of an ental parentage. Colonel Pearce has proved ox, which worked on this day.” that it is an immemorial custom among the A very ridiculous ceremony is likewise Hindoos, at a celebrated festival held in performed at Alnwick, in NorthumberlandMarch, called the Huli, when mirth and fes- it consists in leaping the well, or going tivity reign amongst every class, to send through a deep and noisome pool, on Alnpeople on errands and expeditions that are to wick Moor, called the Preemen's well-a end in disappointment, and raise a laugh at sine qua non to the freedom of the borough. the expense of the person sent. The last day On St. Mark's day, the aspirants proceed in of the Huli, is the general holiday. This great state, from the town to the moor, festival is held in honour of the new year; where they draw up in a body, at some disand, as the year formerly began in Britain; tance from the water, and, on a signal being about the same time, Maurice, in his Indian given, scramble through the mud with great Artiquities, thinks that the diversions of the labour and difficulty. Tradition says, that 1st day of April, both in Britain and India, this strange and ridiculous custom, rendered had a common origin in the ancient celebra- more ludicrous by being performed in white tion of the return of the vernal equinox, with clothing, was imposed by King Jolin, who was festal rites.t

bogged in this very pond. On St. George's Day (April 23d), there The first of May, is a gala day with some seems to have been an ancient custom in of the classes of society in many countries, Britain, to decorate the statue of the patron although, like most of the other festivals of saint, but this is no longer continued; and, the calendar, it has suffered from the hand in Reed's old plays (vol. xii.), there is an al- of time. Formerly, it was the custom for all lusion to another habit, amongst people of ranks of people to go out early a Maying. fashion, of wearing blue coats on this day, Bourne tells us, that, in his time, in the vil“ probably because blue was the national co- lages in the north of England, the juvenile lour of Britain, over which St. George pre- part of both sexes were wont to rise a little sides, and not in imitation of the clothing of after midnight, and walk to some neighthe fields in blue, by the flowering of the blue bouring wood, accompanied with music, and bells, as some have supposed."-(Forster, the blowing of horns, where they broke

down branches from the trees, and adorned St. Mark's Eve (April 25th), is likewise them with nosegays and crowns of flowers. fruitful in superstitions. In the northern This done, they returned homewards, about parts of England, it is usual for the common the time of sunrise, and decked their doors people to sit and watch in the church porch, and windows with the spoil. At an early pefrom eleven o'clock at night, till one in the riod, this custom was observed by royal and morning. On the third year, for this must noble personages, as well as by the vulgar. be done thrice, it is supposed they will see In Chaucer's Court of Love, we read, that the ghosts of all those who are to die the early on Mayday, fourth goth at the next year pass by into the church. Vben court, both most and lest, lo fetche the flouris any one sickens, who is thought to have fresh, and braunch and blome." It was of been seen in this manner, it is presently old also the Milk Maid's festival, and is still whispered about that he will not recover, for so, in some of the rural parts of England that such a one, who has watched St. Mark's the milk maids, on this day, going about eve, says so. This superstition is in such with their garlands and music and dancing; force, that, if the patients themselves hear of but this is a very imperfect! f the it, they almost despair of recovery. Many original sports, for Maypo!

in the streets, with various n Etymological Dictionary, Art. Gowk's errand. ris dancing, and other di + Asiatic Researches, ij. 334.

and revelling and good VOL. I.

2K

p. 185.)

The reason why the shamrock is worn by times, and years; which pa sage St, Austin the Irish on St. Patrick's Day (March 17), thus explains :is thus, though not satisfactorily, assigned by “ The persons the apostle blames are those Brand : “When the saint preached the who say, “I will not set forward on my Gospel to the pagan Irish, he illustrated the journey because it is the next day after such doctrine of the Trinity by showing them a a time, or because the moon is so : or I'll set trefoil, or three-leaved grass, with one stalk : forward that I may have luck, because such this operating to their conviction, the sham- is just now the position of the stars. I will rock, which is a bundle of this grass, was not traffic this month, because such a star ever afterwards worn upon this saint's anni- presides, or I will, because it does. I shall versary, to commemorate the event.”

plant no vines this year, because it is Leap The feast of the Annunciation (March Year, &c.'” 25th), celebrates, in the Christian world, the The three last days of March, 0). S., have message of the angel to the Virgin Mary: been denominated Borrowing, or Borrowed hence it is called Lady Day, and tenures, in Days. Being generally stormy, our ancessome countries, are chiefly held from this and tors attempted to account for the circumMichaelmas Day.

stance, by pretending, that March borrowed The last three days of March, are, by the them from April, that he might extend his superstitious, still deemed'unlucky; nor is it power so much the longer. the only case with us of observing one day as

“ March borrowit fra Averill bad, and another as good. Friday, for

Three days and they were ill." example, in the calendar of superstition, is a day of ill omen, on which no new work or They who are very superstitious, will enterprise must be commenced. From this neither borrow nor lend on any of those days, cause, marriages seldom take place on it. and if any one should propose to borrow from It is singular that the same feeling prevails them, they would esteem it an evidence that amongst the Birmans" on this day no the person wished to employ the article borbusiness must be commenced.”

rowed for the purposes of witchcraft against

the lender. “Friday's moon,

With the Scotch Highlanders, the same Come when it will it comes too soon."

Prov.

idea of the borrowing days is commonly reSaturday has been considered equally in. ceived, with this difference, that the days are auspicious. “ Certane craftis men—will considerably antedated, and the loan is renocht begin thair warke on the Satterday, versed. With them, the Faiolteach, or three certane schipmen or marinars will nocht first days of February, serve many poetical pura begin to sail on the Satterday, certainetrauelars poses. They are said to have been borrowed will nocht begin thair iornay ou the Satter- for some purpose by February from January, day, quhilk is plane superstition, because who was bribed by February with three that God Almychty made the Satterday as young sheep. These three days, by Highland well as he made all other dayis of the reckoning, occur between the 11th and 14th wouke.”+

of February, and it is accounted a most This superstition is antique and ethnical. favourable prognostic for the ensuing year, It was common amongst the Greeks, and so that they should be as stormy as possible. many distinctions were made between par If they should be fair, then there is no more ticular days, that it was a matter of impor- good weather to be expected through the tance accouo bau tas nepas—to observe the spring. * days. Hesiod refers to this custom

The custom of sending individuals on a

Fool's errand, on the first of April, or All Αλλοτε μητρυιη πελεί "YAspa

pentrife Fools Day, is general. The French have "Some days, like surly stepdames, adverse prove,

their Poisson d'ivril; and in the North of Thwart vur intentions, cross what e'er we love;

England and Scotland, they have their April Others more fortunate and lucky shine,

Gowks, who are said to have been sent on a And, as a tender mother, bless what we design." Gowk's errand. All these terms signify that The practice was also common in other

an individual has been intentionally sent from nations, and particularly amongst the Ro. place to place, on what is known to be a

Gauch in the Teut. mans, who had their dies atri, or unlucky (Germ. Geck, Sw. gaek), signifies a fool ; days—was adopted by the early Christians hence the words Gowk and Gawky. Jamieson, from thein, and continued, with modifications, however, thinks that the expression, a Gowk's until our own times. St Paul, in his Epistlé errand, although equivalent to a Fool'serrand, to the Galatians (iv. 10.), reproves the Gala, does not originate immediately from Gowk, a tians for observing days, and months, and foolish person, but from the cuckoo, which, in * Dr. Buchanan, in Asiatic Researhes, vol.

Scotland, bears that name. “ Young people,". vi. 172

he remarks, - attracted by the singular cry of + Abp. Hamiltoun's Catechisine, 1551, fol. 22. 6. qated by Jamieson.

# Grant's Superstitions of the Highlanders, vol. Potter's Archäologia Græca, vol. i. c. 17. ii. p. 217.

αλλοτε

“ one

the cuckoo, being anxious to see it, are often are said to have actually died by their imavery assiduous to obtain their gratification. ginary fears on this occasion. But, as this bird changes its place so secretly Another superstition, also of the north of and suddenly—when they think they are England, is that of Ass-ridlinthe ashes bejust within reach of it, they hear it cry at a ing riddled or sifted on the hearth. Should considerable distance. Thus they run from any of the family die within the year, the place to place, still finding themselves as far mark of the shoe; it is supposed, will be imremoved from their object as ever. Hence pressed on the ashes; and many a misthe phrase, “ hunt the gowk," may have chievous wight has made some of the supercome to be used for any fruitless attempt, stitious family miserable, by slily coming and particularly for those vain errors on down stairs, after the rest of the family have which persons are sent on the 1st of April.”* retired to rest, and marking the ashes with

The custom of making April fools, seems the shoe of one of the party. to be a relic of a high and general pagan fes Pennant has also observed, that, in North tival, at which the most unbounded hilarity Wales, no farmer dare hold his team on St. prevailed; and, like many other of these pe- Mark's day, because, as they believe, riodical observances, seems to have an ori- man's team was marked with the loss of an ental parentage. Colonel Pearce has proved ox, which worked on this day." that it is an immemorial custom among the A very ridiculous ceremony is likewise Hindoos, at a celebrated festival held in performed at Alnwick, in Northumberland March, called the Huli, when mirth and fes- it consists in leaping the well, or going tivity reign amongst every class, to send through a deep and noisome pool, on Alnpeople on errands and expeditions that are to wick Moor, called the Freemen's well-a end in disappointment, and raise a laugh at sine qua non to the freedom of the borough. the expense of the person sent. The last day On St. Mark's day, the aspirants proceed in of the Huli, is the general holiday. This great state, from the town to the moor; festival is held in honour of the new year; where they draw up in a body, at some disand, as the year formerly began in Britain, tance from the water, and, on a signal being about the same time, Maurice, in his Indian given, scramble through the mud with great Antiquities, thinks that the diversions of the labour and difficulty. Tradition says, that 1st day of April, both in Britain and India, this strange and ridiculous custom, rendered had a common origin in the ancient celebra more ludicrous by being performed in white tion of the return of the vernal equinox, with clothing, was imposed by King John, who was festal rites.t

bogged in this very pond. On St. George's Day (April 23d), there The first of May, is a gala day with some seems to have been an ancient custom in of the classes of society in many countries, Britain, to decorate the statue of the patron although, like most of the other festivals of saint, but this is no longer continued; and, the calendar, it has suffered from the hand in Reed's old plays (vol. xii.), there is an al- of time. Formerly, it was the custom for all lusion to another habit, amongst people of ranks of people to go out early a Maying. fashion, of wearing blue coats on this day, Bourne tells us, that, in his time, in the vil“ probably because blue was the national co- lages in the north of England, the juvenile lour of Britain, over which St. George pre- part of both sexes were wont to rise a little sides, and not in imitation of the clothing of after midnight, and walk to some neighthe fields in blue, by the flowering of the blue bouring wood, accompanied with music, and bells, as some have supposed.”—(Forster, the blowing of horns, where they broke

down branches from the trees, and adorned St. Mark's Eve (April 25th), is likewise them with nosegays and crowns of flowers. fruitful in superstitions. In the northern This done, they returned homewards, about parts of England, it is usual for the common the time of sunrise, and decked their doors people to sit and watch in the church porch, and windows with the spoil. At an early pefrom eleven o'clock at night, till one in the riod, this custom was observed by royal and morning. On the third year, for this must noble personages, as well as by the vulgar. be done thrice, it is supposed they will see In Chaucer's Court of Love, we read, that the ghosts of all those who are to die the early on Mayday, “ fourth goth at the next year pass by into the church. When court, both most and lest, to fetche the fouris any one sickens, who is thought to have fresh, and braunch and blome.” It was of been seen in this manner, it is presently old also the Milk Maid's festival, and is still whispered about that he will not recover, for so, in some of the rural parts of England that such a one, who has watched St. Mark's the milk maids, on this day, going about eve, says so. This superstition is in such with their garlands and music and dancing; force, that, if the patients themselves hear of but this is a very imperfect shadow of the it, they almost despair of recovery. Many original sports, for Maypoles were set up in

the streets, with various martial shows, Mor* Etymological Dictionary, Art. Gowk's errand. ris dancing, and other devices with which, + Asiatic Researches, ij. 334.

and revelling and good cheer, the day wa VOL. I.

2K

p. 185.)

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