ashen faggot


ashen faggot
   Reported only from the West Country, this was similar to the *Yule Log custom in that the faggot was brought in with some ceremony and laid on the fire on Christmas Eve, but it was made of smaller ash sticks bound into a faggot with strips of hazel, withy, or bramble. These strips were watched carefully as there were beliefs and customs attached to them. In one report from Torquay in 1836 farmworkers could demand more cider from the farmer each time a strip burnt through, while in families it was customary for each of the children present to choose a strip and the one whose strip burnt through first would marry first. The earliest references to the custom are from the turn of the 19th century, much later than those for the Yule Log; the custom still continues in some homes, and takes place in some West Country pubs, such as at Curry Rivel (Somerset).
   ■ Wright and Lones, 1940: iii. 213-14, 227; G. R. Willey, Folklore 94:1 (1983), 40-3.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ashen faggot — The ashen faggot (sometimes called ashton fagot) is an old English Christmas tradition from Devon and Somerset, similar to that of the Yule log and related to the wassail tradition. The wassail party passes around a bundle of ash sticks, twigs or …   Wikipedia

  • Faggot — or fagot may refer to:* Faggot (slang), a pejorative for a homosexual or effeminate man used mainly in North America * Faggot (food), a British meatball commonly made of pork offal * Faggot (volume), an archaic unit of measurement for bundles of… …   Wikipedia

  • Yule log — For other uses, see Yule log (disambiguation). An illustration of people collecting a yule log from Chambers Book of Days (1832) p. 736 A Yule log is a large and extremely hard log which is burned in the hearth as a part of traditional Yule or… …   Wikipedia

  • Dunster — For other uses, see Dunster (disambiguation). Coordinates: 51°10′57″N 3°26′45″W / 51.1825°N 3.4459°W / 51.1825; 3.4459 …   Wikipedia

  • ash — (tree)    A traditional cure, recorded in several counties, for young children with hernias; an ash sapling, preferably one grown from seed and never touched by a knife, was split down the middle and held open with wedges, the child was passed… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Christmas —    By far the most popular festival in England today, imposing itself even on those whose religious or political beliefs would normally rule out Christian celebrations; the greatest pressure is to conform for the sake of the children, who are… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Christmas superstitions —    Most regional collections report a belief that at midnight on Christmas Eve cattle kneel to welcome the Holy Child, and bees buzz, or hum the Hundredth Psalm (e.g. Harland and Wilkinson, 1882: 253). During this night *cocks crow, and the… …   A Dictionary of English folklore