Get ready for Stir-up Sunday
Love it or hate it, it’s unlikely you’ll make it through the festive season without a run-in with the Christmas pudding.
What started as a simple peasant’s dish has evolved into a treasured tradition that’s a symbol of Christmas here in Britain, and with Stir-up Sunday already here, it’s time for the the bright, warm scent of cinnamon, nutmeg and citrus to fill the kitchen once again.
So in honour of the Christmas season, we’ll take a look at the history of Stir-up Sunday, its traditions and share a few of our favourite recipes…
The earliest known versions of the Christmas pud stretch back to the 14th century with a Christmas porridge that incorporating beef, mutton and wine. In 1664 Cromwell banned the ‘lewd, sacrilegious’ custom – it was more than 100 years until George I reintroduced the dish, and by that time it no longer included meat.
The tradition as we know it, though, really began in Victorian times with a line in a prayer – on the last Sunday before advent there’s bible passage that is read out and says “Stir up; we beseech thee, O Lord.”
Chruchgoers began to associate the prayer with a reminder to begin preparing the mincemeat mixture ahead of Christmas and thus, Stir-up Sunday was born. The rest, as they say, is history.
Make a wish
Stir-up Sunday is just as much about bringing the family together as it is about making Christmas puddings. It’s an old custom to give each member of the family a turn to stir the mixture and make a wish.
It’s also tradition to drop a coin into the mixture; whoever finds it on Christmas day is promised wealth, health and happiness in the coming year – an incentive that might just tempt even the pickiest eaters around the table to try it!
Christmas puddings are dense, moist and decadent – to make the perfect Christmas pudding you need time for the fruits to absorb the alcohol and let the flavours mature.
The traditional pudding has 13 ingredients – one each for Christ and his 12 apostles – and will take upwards of seven hours to prepare. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts though; the flavours become even richer and on Christmas morning it only needs to be steamed for an hour before it’s ready to serve.
Need a recipe?
Some families have had their recipes handed down through generations. Others prefer to look to the experts for advice. Here’s three of our favourites to get you started:
Will you make your Christmas pudding this weekend on Stir-up Sunday?
Silversurfers Features Editor
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!