Last weekend in November - Stir up Sunday

Written by Anne Newman 18th November 2019

Stir Up Sunday is a tradition that harks back to Victorian times when the family would gather together to stir the Christmas pudding five weeks before Christmas.

I never knew it as Stir it Up Sunday yet the Plum pudding, as we called it, the Christmas Cake and the Mincemeat were always made five weeks before Christmas to give them time to mature.

We had the same tradition of the stirring of the Christmas pudding by each member of the family. We each made a wish and stirred the pudding mix three times. Everyone had to stir the pudding before it was steamed.

How did Stir it Up Sunday get its name?

The opening words of the Book Of Common Prayer, used on the last Sunday before Advent, reads:

"Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people,"

so the tradition stands that this is the day to get stirring!

Stir it up traditions

Christmas pudding would traditionally contain 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples.

It is traditionally stirred (while making a wish) by each member of the family from East to West, to remember the Wise Men that visited Jesus in the Nativity story.

The customary garnish of holly represented the crown of thorns. Be warned: the holly berry is very toxic, so instead adorn your Christmas pud with fake foliage!

Adding coins, originally charms, to the pud was said to bring luck if you found them in your portion on Christmas Day. The traditional lucky charms were a silver coin for wealth, a wishbone for luck, a thimble for thrift, a ring for marriage, and an anchor for safe harbour.


Anne is sharing a series of events throughout the year - you can find them listed by clicking to the link Other Notable Dates and Festivals.