If you've ever experienced really top notch homemade Christmas pudding, you'll probably have been savouring a festive delight that's slowly been developing its rich, satisfying and complex flavours since the last Sunday in November, which is known as Stir-Up Sunday.
Stir-Up Sunday is the traditional first celebration of Advent, the festival that celebrates the 'coming' of Christmas and has always been a family occasion that's centered around the preparation of the pudding.
Everyone should take a turn stirring the pudding mixture for luck, from East to West in honour of the Three Wise Men, make a secret wish and chant the traditional rhyme: "Stir Up, we beseech thee, the pudding in the pot. And when we get home we’ll eat the lot"!
Traditionally, a sixpence was added to the Christmas pudding mix, alongside a healthy slug of brandy, to bring wealth to the person who finds it on their plate. However, over the years, a whole range of things have been added to the pudding, including:
A horseshoe for luck.
A bell for warding off evil.
A silver button for a bachelor.
A ring to predict a marriage.
What would the modern equivalent be, we wonder? If you've any amusing ideas, leave a Comment below (it only take a moment to Register)...
So today gather the family around the mixing bowl, make a wish, sing a song, hide your tokens in the pudding and, most importantly, start looking forward to Christmas...