Easter Lifting and Heaving

Easter is early this year: March 31st. So you'd better bone up quick on the old practice of lifting strangers up in chairs.

According to Hone, the practice was common in Lancashire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and other parts of England. Groups of people would gather together in the street and physically lift those they came across into the air, expecting a financial reward in return. Hone describes the practice as differing slightly in different parts of the country:

In some parts the person is laid horizontally, in others placed in a sitting position on the bearers’ hands. Usually, when the lifting or heaving is within doors, a chair is produced, but in all cases the ceremony is incomplete without three distinct elevations. (SCM 03706, p. 426)

In Warwickshire, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday were known as ‘heaving-day‘, because on the Monday it was the tradition for men to ‘heave and kiss the women’ and on the Tuesday for the women to do the same to the men. Hone viewed the practice as, ‘an absurd performance of the resurrection’ derived from the Catholic church.

     Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 06, 2024
     Category: Furniture | Holidays | Regionalism | Foreign Customs | United Kingdom

Crowd surfing ?
Posted by F.U.D. in Stockholm on 02/06/24 at 08:38 AM
My high school English teacher would like a few words with someone who wrote something like "...those they came across into the air, expecting a financial reward in return".
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/06/24 at 09:38 AM
I think something similar is done in Jewish weddings.
Posted by Alex on 02/06/24 at 10:05 AM

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