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British Isles All Soul’s Eve Customs
A Soule-cake, a Soule-cake; have mercy on
all Christen souls for a Soule-cake.

Soul! Soul! for a soul-cake;
Pray, good mistress, for a soul-cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us merry.
Up with your kettles and down with your pans
Give us an answer and we’ll be gone
Little Jack, Jack sat on his gate
Crying for butter to butter his cake
One for Saint Peter, two for Saint Paul,
Three for them who made us all.

Consequences: Victorian Parlor Game: Players sat in a circle; each writing down adjectives on the top half of a slip of paper, folding it over for invisibility & passing it to the neighbor to the right. All have to write on the top of the paper which has been passed by the left-hand neighbor the name of a gentleman. The cycle continued with: adjectives, a lady, their meeting place, his gift to her, his speech to her, her speech to him, the consequence; & lastly what the world said about it. Be careful that every time anything has been written the paper is folded down & passed on to the player on your right. For the finale, papers were collected and read out by one person. The result may be somewhat like this:— (1) The horrifying and delightful (2) Mr. Brown (3) met the charming (4) Miss Phillips (5) in Westminster Abbey; (6) he gave her a flower (7) and said to her: “How’s your mother?” (8) She said to him: “Not for Joseph;” (9) the consequence was they danced the hornpipe, and the world said: (10) “Just what we expected.” The hornpipe is a sailors’ dance seen in honor of the dead.

Nightmare: In Chesire and Shropshire England people known as soulers wander around the countryside with a hobby horse. Called a nightmare it bears the dead away on her back. In Derbyshire torches of straw are carried on All Souls’ Eve to light souls through Purgatory. In Lancashire people beg for candles and burn them until midnight. (1)

Sowens: Soulcakes: A spiced oatmeal porridge cake with butter and strunt liquor given in payment for prayers for the dead. They are placed in a heap and given out. The little cakes are set out with glasses of wine on All Hallows Eve for the souls of the dead. On the Eve of All Souls children go souling calling out for a cake. Lit candles, meals and wine are left for the dead who revisit their homes. enevek: Cornish for soulful. The next day families visit graves with flowers. The names of the dead are read out on request in church ending with a play or songs. (1)

Mischief Night: Bonfire Night: November 4th: To put things in the wrong place. In north-east Derbyshire and south Yorkshire children beg for bonfire alms called Jolly Coal Minering, a local variant on the Penny for a Guy of Guy Fawkes night tradition.

We’re three Jolly Miners, and we’re not worth a pin,
So give us a piece of coal and we’ll make the kettle sing

Guy Fawkes Night: November 5 : The villagers of Shebbear in Devon turn over a large stone under an ancient oak tree. Legendary Citizen Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament November 5, 1605 with gunpowder. His plot was foiled.
 Effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned on top of bonfires. Parliament is opened by the reigning monarch at the beginning of November. The Lord Mayor’s Show takes place in London on the second Saturday in November, to mark the new office. The first Lord Mayor’s Show was held in 1215 and only major events such as the Black Death and the funeral of the Duke of Wellington in 1852 have stopped it. The french word for mistletoe is gui, sometimes seen spelled as guy. (1, 38)

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