Stir Up Sunday

The customs of Stir Up Sunday and the history and traditions of this Christmas custom:

Last Sunday Before Advent

The last Sunday before Advent in the Anglican church calendar each year is traditionally known as Stir Up Sunday where families may attend a church service and then return home to stir the Christmas puddings and cakes mixture together. These acts bring the family together at the beginning of advent and helps bring luck in the New Year.

Collect Prayer Stir Up Sunday

Those that attend church will have said the collect prayer especially for stir up Sunday:

Stir up we beseech thee O Lord
the wills of thy faithful people
that they plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works
may of thee be plenteously rewarded
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Secret Wish

As the cake and pudding mixture is stirred each family member makes a secret wish as they take turns to stir the mixture.

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Some households may pre soak the fruits that are to be added to the mixture the day or a few days before in alcohol to release the flavour of the fruits and to allow the fruit to soak up the alcohol.

Common Traditions And Customs Of Stir Up Sunday

Many families have their own tradition for Stir Up Sunday. Common traditions and customs include:

Adding an old coin to the pudding mixture which is then cooked to help bring wealth to whoever finds it in their pudding on Christmas Day. Traditionally an old silver sixpence or three penny bit is used though modern families, if they don't buy their Christmas puddings from the Supermarket, may use a 10 or 50 pence.

A thimble may be added to foretell a lucky life, a ring may be added to predict a wedding and a button, if found by a male, means he will always be a bachelor.

It's probably best to let everyone know to look for the coins, thimbles, buttons or rings in their plate or bowl before eating to avoid anyone choking or chipping a tooth!

Stir Up Sunday features each year in the BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers. For many years Jill Archer would do this Christmas tradition with her grandchildren. Now that they are grown up the Stir Up Sunday Christmas custom is performed by other actors and actresses with young children and grandchildren such as Clarrie Grundy.

More Christmas trivia questions and answers.

Easy to make Plum Pudding recipe.

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