Observations on Popular Antiquities: Volume 1

Observations on Popular Antiquities: Volume 1 : Chiefly Illustrating the Origin of our Vulgar Customs, Ceremonies and Superstitions

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John Brand (1744-1806), secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, first published his widely popular Observations on Popular Antiquities in 1777. This fascinating two-volume almanac of British superstitions and customs was in fact a heavily revised and annotated version of Henry Bourne's Antiquitates vulgares (1725). Beginning with New Year's Eve, Volume 1 describes the origins and practices of British calendar festivals including religious holidays, saints' days, seasonal celebrations such as May Day and the Summer Solstice, and obscurer festivities such as the Feast of Sheep Shearing. Following the success of the book's initial reception, Brand continued to research English folklore with the intention of publishing fuller information. This two-volume version, published posthumously in 1813, was edited and expanded by Sir Henry Ellis, Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum, and further revisions also appeared in 1841 and 1870. Brand's book is regarded as the foundation for folklore studies in England.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 1139094548
  • 9781139094542

Table of contents

Editor's advertisement; Preface; New Year's Eve; New Year's Day; Twelfth Night; St. Agnes's Day or Eve, Jan. 21st; St. Vincent's Day, Jan. 22d; St. Paul's Day, Jan. 25th; Candlemas Day, Feb. 2d; St. Blaze's Day, Feb. 3d; Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th; Collop or Shrove Monday; Shrove-tide, or Shrove Tuesday; Ash-Wednesday; St. David's Day, March 1st; St. Patrick's Day, March 17th; Mid-Lent Sunday; Palm Sunday; All Fool's Day, April 1st; Shere Thursday, also Maundy Thursday; Good Friday; Easter Eve; Easter Day; Easter eggs; Easter holidays; Lifting on Easter holidays; Hoke Day; St. George's Day, April 23d; St. Mark's Day or Eve; Parochial perambulations in Rogation Week. Ascension Day or Holy Thursday; May Day customs; May Poles; Morris dancers; St. Urban's Day, May 25th; Royal Oak Day, May 29th; Whitsuntide; Trinity, or Trinity Sunday, Even.; Eve of Thursday after Trinity Sunday; St. Barnabas Day, June 11th; St. Vitus's Day, June 15th; Corpus Christi Day, and Plays, June 14th; Summer Solstice. Midsummer Eve. The Vigil of St. John the Baptist's Day; St. Peter's Day, June 29th; St. Ulric, July 4th; St. Swithin's Day, July 15th; St. Margaret's Day, July 20th; St. Bridget, July 23d; St. James's Day, July 25th; Gule of August, commonly called Lammass Day; Assumption of the Virgin Mary, August 15th; St. Roch's Day, August 16th; St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24th; Holy-Rood-Day, Septemb. 14th; Michaelmas, Septemb. 29th; St. Ethelburgh's Day, October 11th; St. Simon and St. Jude's Day, October 28th; Allhallow Even.; The Fifth of November; Martinmas, Novemb. 11th; Queen Elizabeth's accession, Novemb. 17th; St. Clement's Day, Novemb. 23d; St. Catharine's Day, Novemb. 24th; St. Andrew's Day, Novemb. 30th; St. Nicholas's Day, Decemb. 6th; On the montem at Eton; Customs a little before, at, or about Christmas; Of the Yule clog, or block, burnt on Christmas Eve; Of the word Yule, formerly used to signify Christmas; Sports, games, etc. at Christmas; St. Stephen's Day, Decemb. 26th; St. John the Evangelist, Decemb. 27th; Childermas or Holy Innocents' Day; Country wakes, called also feasts of dedication, revellings, rush-bearings, and in the north of England hoppings; Harvest home, alias Mell Supper, Kern or Churn supper, or Feast of Ingathering; The feast of sheep shearing; Saturday afternoon; The borrowed days; Days lucky or unlucky; Cock crowing, time of the morning so called; Strewing churches with flowers on days of humiliation and thanksgiving; Cock-fighting; Bull-running in the town of Stamford; Additions to Vol. 1.show more