Paul Pitcher Day is commemorated yearly on January 24 and is observed in a rather unusual manner. The people of Cornwall began this day by commemorating one of the most significant events in Christian history: the Feast of St. Paul’s Conversion. They celebrate with ale and the destruction of empty pitchers. The pitchers are then replaced with new ones and refilled with ale. This ceremony occurs on the eve of Saint Paul’s Conversion. “Paul’s Eve, and here’s a heave!” is the well-known exclamation of this holiday.
HISTORY OF PAUL PITCHER DAY
Paul Pitcher Day, as odd as it may seem, commemorates one of the most significant moments in Christian history: the conversion of St. Paul. The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul is commemorated differently in various places; nevertheless, the distinctive manner of one English county has given rise to what is now widely known as Paul Pitcher Day.
Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a Pharisee who persecuted the earliest disciples of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. He was on his way to Damascus to arrest additional Jews when he found Jesus Christ and was rescued, going on to become one of the most influential personalities of the Apostolic Age. As with other Christian holidays, the days before the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul are equally as significant as the day itself.
In Cornwall, England, which was once home to tin miners, a new season of mining and sailing, as well as the eve of St. Paul’s conversion, are celebrated by placing pitchers in public locations and throwing stones at them until they break. A replacement pitcher is purchased and refilled with beer so that the celebrations can continue throughout the day.
This odd type of celebration originated as a protest against the restriction that only permitted workers to drink water during working hours. People will either line up pitchers and throw stones at them or hurl them against the walls or doors of community members’ homes while shouting, “It’s Paul’s Eve! Here’s a heave!” According to ancient Cornish mythology, Jesus Christ travelled to Cornwall with his uncle Joseph and established Christianity there.
5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SAINT PAUL
- Most likely, Paul was two to six years younger than Jesus.
- Straight is a Damascus roadway where Paul is claimed to have been summoned by God.
- Paul was bitten by a deadly snake after he was stranded on Malta.
- Paul portrayed the experience of heaven in the book of Corinthians.
- Paul the Apostle was both Jewish and Roman.
PAUL PITCHER DAY DATES