Irish custom: Chalk Sunday

#Picture Number CT51

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Victorian illustration to download showing a picture of a traditional Irish custom, Chalk Sunday. Young women and boys are chasing young men in a village street and putting chalk marks on the back of their Sunday clothes. This custom took place on the first Sunday in Lent. Roman Catholics are not permitted to marry in Lent, so if a young man was not married by the beginning of Lent, he would remain unmarried until at least Easter. In Victorian times it was usual to marry at a much younger age than now, so young bachelors were a butt for teasing.


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