1954: Few Jersey customs connected with Christmas (2)

December 12th, 2013

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1954: Few Jersey customs connected with Christmas (2)

Office du Jerriaisalcohol, history, La Fête dé Noué


Saint Hélyi Jèrri Fête dé Noué 2013 39The chief drink in Jersey as Jean Poingdestre in his “Caesarea” tells us was cider. At Christmas time, as well as at others, eggs were beaten into it and the resulting concoction, known as “Ecaudé”, a sort of primitive advocaat, was much in evidence.

Three Old Customs

There were three old customs, one of which, in a modified form, prevails:-

(1) On Christmas Eve (or early on Christmas Day) the Poor Box firmly cemented in a niche at the entrance to the parish churchyard gates, was opened by the Churchwardens and its contents divided amongst the indigent poor.

(2) On Christmas Eve, and throughout Christmas Day, parishioners would ring the one remaining bell in the belfry of the parish churches. This custom, still kept up at St. Ouen, St. Mary and St. Peter, is lost in the mists of anitiquity.

(3) It was considered extremely unlucky to enter a cowshed or cattle stall on Christmas Eve, for the belief prevailed that at midnight all the cattle would be kneeling in commemoration of the birth of Our Lord. It was further affirmed that dire consequences resulted to any person who beheld this act of reverence.

(à siéthe)

Evening Post 22/12/1954