Happy Flitch Day! Today celebrates an odd English tradition. On this day, if a married couple could prove that they had remained faithful and loving towards their partner every day in the past year, they would be awarded a flitch – a measure of bacon about half a pig. Today it is celebrated with couples attempting to prove to six local bachelors and maidens that they have never wished to be unmarried at any point in the past year.
They even have a pledge:
You shall swear by custom of confession,
If ever you made nuptial trangresssion,
Be you either married man or wife,
If you have brawls or contentious strife
Or otherwise, at bed or at board,
Offended each other in deed or word:
Or, since the parish-clerk said Amen,
You wish’t yourselves unmarried agen,
Or in a twelvemonth and a day,
Repented not in thought any way,
But continued true in thought and desire
As when you join’d hands in the quire.
If to these conditions, without all feare,
Of your own accord you will freely swear,
A whole gammon of bacon you shall receive,
And bear it hence with love and good leave;
For this is our custom at Dunmow well knowne,
Though the pleasure be ours, the bacon’s your own.
~ Darcie Rae
picture source: http://evglil.blogspot.com.au/2011_04_01_archive.html