scrambling customs


scrambling customs
   A recurrent feature of customs, all over the country, is a 'scrambling', whereby something is thrown to a crowd and everyone scrambles to get it. In many cases the item thrown is edible - nuts, oranges, apples, or even pieces of pie (at *Hal-laton), bread and cheese (at *St Briavels) or pancake (*Westminster School). In other circumstances it is money - usually pennies, and sometimes heated first (e.g. *Rye, Sussex). Scrambling is often part of another custom, particularly *civic customs and doles. In the cold light of day, scrambling can seem somewhat odd behaviour. In a children's custom the point is obviously the fun of the scrambling itself, but in a charity dole such as the Bread and Cheese throwing at St Briavel's the logic is less easy to find. The point here, perhaps, is the element of luck, or random choice in the distribution. In addition, there are traditions of bridegrooms throwing handfuls of coins at *weddings.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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