Flitch Day. This was the first one where I was like, huh? What the heck is a flitch? I did some research and it turns out this is an old English tradition dating back to the 15th century. The monks offered a flitch (side) of bacon to any married couple who could prove that they lived in fidelity and harmony for the past year. Needless to say, very few couples actually went home with the bacon. This ceremony still happens in England, except they celebrate it every 4 years now rather than every year. The next official Flitch Day is next year in 2012. It is always held on July 19th though, so I of course had to make it my celebration today. I thought about couples I knew that got married last year. I figured if they had only been married for a year they still may actually like each other, right? Well, it dawned on me that Rich’s sister, Laura, and her husband, Russ, were married on July 3rd of last year. So I solicited them and asked if they would be willing to participate. Once Russ heard bacon was involved, he was in. We performed the ceremony at their place and we kept it nice and casual. They read the following oath to prove their worthiness of the bacon:
We do swear by custom of confession
That we ne’re made nuptial transgression
Nor since we were married man and wife
By household brawl or contentious strife,
Or otherwise at bed or board,
Offended each other in deed or word;
Or since the parish clerk said amen,
Wished ourselves unmarried again;
Or in a twelvemonth and a day
Repented in thought in any way,
But continue true and in desire
As when we joined in holy quire.
Then I, as the officer who administered the oath, read the reply and presented the bacon:
Since to these conditions, without any fear,
Of your own accord you do freely swear,
A whole flitch of bacon you shall receive,
And bear it hence with love and good leave;
For this is our custom at Dunmow well known
Though the pleasure be ours, the bacon’s your own.
The happy couple with their prize for excelling at marriage:
Here they are with the ‘town witnesses’…..Roman was eyeing that bacon:
So next year, on the official Flitch Day, if you and your spouse can prove that you have lived in harmony and fidelity for the past year, go claim your bacon!
Total Cost to Celebrate: $6
Clip of the Day:
“Bacon is good for me!” from an episode of Wife Swap. That show is pretty awful, but there are certainly some entertaining crazies on there!
P.S. – Childhood obesity a problem in America? I don’t see where they get that one from…..