BOOK LANARKSHIRE HOTELS

Join in

Send page to a friend

3199 views since 11th March 2011

Related links:

Events | Lore & Legend | Rather Interesting | Cultural Britain

Featured Destination

July 2019: Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast

Itís illumination time in Blackpool. Lancashire in October is not likely to be your choice for a sunshine break, but that is not why ...More
More Uk destinations

Whuppity Scoorie, Lanarkshire

Describing what the Lanark custom of Whuppity Scoorie (alternatively Scorie, or Scourie) entails is relatively easy; deciding what its origins are rather more complex, and in the end fruitless.
On March 1 local children gather at the church of St Nicholas in the town for the start of the event at 6:00pm. When Ďthe wee bellí rings the children proceed around the church widdershins for three laps (they used to race but these days fear of competition and the incredible dangers of children running rule that out), making an unholy din and all the while using tightly-packed paper balls swung around their heads on strings to ping one another. When the circuits have been completed local dignitaries throw coins for the little angels.
Now the difficult bit. First proposed origin is that it is linked to pagan celebrations of the coming of spring, though how that relates to the church and the pinging is not easy to fathom. Next, perhaps more believably, that it began as a way of recognizing changes in the curfew and/or the light available for evening play Ė whuppity thus coming from that long neglected toy the whipping top. A more bloodthirsty explanation has it that the event commemorates miscreants who were whipped and then scoured (cleaned, perhaps in the Clyde nearby) as their punishment in days long gone; or more religiously this was the penance for transgressors against church law. Or were they scaring off witches and fairies (hence the magical suggestion in widdershins laps). Maybe itís a remembrance of William Wallace ís wife (though in reality rather than legend he may never have married) being killed by the horrid English, though that is a decidedly obscure attempt.
It matters not. The custom is fun, gets kids away from computer screens, and offers adults a topic for endless discussion (and creative work on new explanations).

More British Folk Customs?

If you like this, Share it

Brit Quote:
In trouble to be troubled, Is to have your trouble doubled. - Daniel Defoe
More Quotes

On this day:
Stirling Castle Falls to Edward I - 1304, Euston opens as 1st London Station - 1837, FA Cup is formed - 1871, Bothamís Greatest Ashes Day - 1981
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages