Pentecost/Whitsun Customs

In England, it used to be popular for the town to make beer or ale, and then raise money for the poor by selling the beer on Pentecost, as part of the various festivities. So people would sit around and drink at these “Whitsun Ales.” This went along nicely with other events, such as dancing in the churchyard, playing bowls, shooting at the village archery range, and so on. Often these events would also take place on Whitsun Monday, aka Whit Monday.

Apparently there used to be a famous custom of running down some big hill at Greenwich, on Whitmonday. Hone’s Every-Day Book talks about it. I’m surprised there’s no race there.

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