Folklore Friday

Old Drogheda Society
Folklore Friday - Folklore includes traditional beliefs, customs, sayings and stories of a community preserved by its people and passed down the generations by word of mouth.
In the past in Ireland the period up to Lent was the traditional 'Marrying Season' but what if you were still single after Shrove Tuesday? It seems the difficulties of being single today were nothing compared to in the past. The long established tradition was that Catholics were not allowed to marry during Lent, so they had to wait until after Easter.
The first Sunday after Shrove Tuesday, was known as 'Chalk Sunday'. This was when single people were marked with chalk as a way of teasing them for not yet being wed. The unmarried had an 'X' drawn on their back in chalk, usually as they entered the church in their best Sunday gear for everyone to see. Afterwards of course the 'chalk markers' ran for their lives, laughing and singing after getting up to their devilment.

'Salt Monday' was the Monday after the beginning of Lent and in the past you would have been sprinkled with salt if you were single today. The reason salt was sprinkled on bachelors and spinsters was to 'preserve them' until the next shrove Tuesday.

Nowadays we have 'internet dating' and 'speed dating' but in times past you would have been showered with salt and branded for still being single. Let's spare a thought for our ancestors!

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