happy? - Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
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happy? - Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)

keberoxu 26 Dec 19 - 08:26 PM
Susanne (skw) 01 Jan 06 - 08:22 PM
Scotus 01 Jan 06 - 08:03 PM
Tootler 01 Jan 06 - 06:30 AM
Abby Sale 31 Dec 05 - 05:14 PM
Tootler 31 Dec 05 - 04:27 PM
Abby Sale 31 Dec 05 - 09:59 AM
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Subject: RE: happy? - Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Dec 19 - 08:26 PM


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Subject: RE: happy? � Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:22 PM

More than you ever wished to know about Glesca Fair:

[1996:] Glasgow owes the origin of its celebrated annual fair to a 12th century Cistercian monk Bishop Jocelin. It was he who influenced King William the Lion to grant the town a charter round about 1190 to hold a yearly fair for eight full days from the octaves of the apostles Peter and Paul - 7th July. This was in keeping with the medieval custom of fairs being appointed in connection with saints' days or religious festivals. Bishop Jocelin was one of the most indefatigable and capable men who ever occupied the Episcopal throne of Glasgow.

In 1744 the Town Council decided that instead of the fair commencing on a fixed day in the calendar it should begin on the first Monday of July and finish the following Saturday, the reason being "the Sabbath intervening in the eight days stopped and interrupted the course of the fair". Another change came in 1752 due to the transition of the calendar from old style to new, making "Fair Monday" a week later.

Little information is available regarding the great event until the latter half of the 16th century. From the earliest July Town Council minute existing, that of 1574, it appears to have been the practice to hold a ritualistic open-court of the Burgh on "Fair-even", 6th July. This took place on a piece of rocky ground called Craignacht, somewhere in the region of today's North Albion Street, the fair itself being held in the garden of the adjoining Greyfriars Monastery.

All business concluded, the important ceremony of proclaiming "the peace of the fair", a main condition of the charter, was carried out in double form - at Glasgow Green by an Officer of the Barony and at the Market Cross (then at the junction of High St / Rottenrow / Drygate) by a Burgh Officer.

Townsfolk and officers were commanded to "keep the peace of the fair" and stall keepers ordered to have a halbert and steel bonnet available to quell any disturbance should someone disregard the edict. During the fair nobody could be arrested for debt and runaway serfs could not be lawfully seized by their masters until it was over. On fair morn, a bell ringer, who always wore a red coat, went to the Cross, rang his bell and cried - "Glesca Fair is noo open" "Glesca Fair is noo open".

The original concept of the fair was to generate trade and commerce by bringing the outside world to Glasgow, not for there to be a mass exodus from the city for its duration as began to happen in the 1860s.

Way back when the fair really was a fair, people came from all over the West of Scotland to trade, laugh, drink and be merry. However, in 800 years it evolved from a cheery rural festival into a public nuisance with coarse loud entertainments and then, as we know it today, the "Shows" on Glasgow Green. (Carol Foreman, Did You Know?, Glasgow City Libraries and Archives, Glasgow, p 21 f.)

Still going, it seems.

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Subject: RE: happy? – Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
From: Scotus
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 08:03 PM

The Fife holiday fortnight (trades fortnight) was the same two weeks as the Glesca Fair - 2nd and 3rd weeks in July.


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Subject: RE: happy? – Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
From: Tootler
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 06:30 AM

I am sure it was the same fair. I was quoting from memory which is not as good as it used to be :-(

Also I am not a Glaswegian. My mother was from Aberdeen which is the other side of the country.

The essential point is the contradiction in the first line - the trip took place sometime in the year.

Finally, depends which University you were at. I was at Salford.

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Subject: RE: happy? – Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 05:14 PM

Thanks for pointing that out. From The Scotland Guide - "The Glasgow Fair has been an important public event for centuries and many of its activities took place near the western end of Glasgow Green. It was inaugurated in the late twelfth century and traditionally began on 7 July, but in time the start was changed to Fair Monday which was fixed as the second Monday in July."

Others give another time toward the end of July. I don't remember paying any attention to it when we lived in Glasgow. Or if it even existed. Ah! 3rd Mon per Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Perhaps another fair came to exist 5 or 6 months later. Hogmanay certainly couldn't happen in summer!

I also learned it in folk clubs during my University days in the mid 60's. I don't think I remember meeting you then, though.

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Subject: RE: happy? – Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
From: Tootler
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 04:27 PM

Norman Buchan in his notes to Rothesay-O says that it is a music hall song that entered the tradition.

It was very popular in folk clubs during my University days in the mid 60's. A good song with a sing along chorus for all to join in.

Someone somewhere pointed out that the Glasgow fair was actually in June.

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Subject: happy? – Dec 31 (Sylvester / Hogmanay)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 09:59 AM

         Today is Sylvester, tomorrow New Year,
        I'm waiting 'neath your window
        You know why I'm here.
        Throw me a kiss so I'll know you're sincere;
        If you refuse me then I'll disappear;
        Today is Sylvester, tomorrow New Year.

                "Today Is Sylvester" from Christmas with Marais and Miranda

ALSO: (One of my favorite silly songs)

        Last Hogmanay at Glesca Fair
        There was me, mysel' an' sev'ral mair
        An' we a' resolved tae hae a tear
        An' spend the nicht in Rothesay, O!
        We wandered through the Broomilaw,
        Thro' wind and rain, and sleet and snaw
        An' at forty meenits efter twa
        We got the lenghth o' Rothesay, O!

         CHO: A hir-rum-a-doo, a doo-a-day
              A hir-rum-a-doo, ma daddy, O
              A hir-rum-a-doo, a doo-a-day
              The day we went tae Rothesay, O!

                 "(The Day We Went To) Rothesay-O"
                 Norman Buchan, 101 Scottish Songs also in DigTrad filename & MacColl

Ok, ok.    St. Sylvester I, pope from 314 to 335. Western feast day December 31 (Eastern feast day January 2)

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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