Thursday, 19 December 2013

A mysterious festive tradition

There are many wonderful festive traditions that have stood the test of time, the most obvious being the kind act of gift giving. Although the exchanging of gifts at Christmas is still customary today, it seems that in St Andrews in the not-so-long-ago past, Hogmanay was also a time to look forward to for local children.

As the photograph shows, children would visit local shops and receive gifts in a tradition called ‘cake day’. We believe that this photograph was taken outside of Birrell's grocery store at 89 South Street (now a restaurant called 'Zizzi'). Unfortunately, there is no further information about ‘cake day’ - does anyone know what date this fell on? One would assume it to be New Years Day but, as far as I am aware, most stores are closed on the 1st of January. I wonder if 'cake day' happened in other towns? It would be nice to find out more information about cake day as it is such a lovely tradition that now, sadly, appears to be lost to us.