Acorning: A History

15 Dec

Acorning is a tradition or pastime of people all over the world, but the significance is often forgotten. It’s origins stem from a town called Dalgowmore in southern scotland and the surrounding areas, from the 13th century but possibly earlier. Acorners or Oak-Horners would travel around from town to town and hand out “blessed acorns” to the villages to ward off the plague. These acorns would usually be carved with runes of blessing, goodwill and oak. Oak-horners would often recieve food and board in exchange for warding disease from the area. These “Oak-Horners” are suspected of being hangers on of the old druidic ways.

Modern acorning though is somewhat more of a fun, silly and somewhat obscure pastime and is completely unheard of in many parts of the world. It consists of collecting acorns, usually in small baskets and drawing or carving smiling faces on them and handing them out to strangers and passers by on the streets with wellwishes regarding the acronee’s Tuesdays. There is no recorded history of when wishing the acornee a good Tuesday started occuring, but it thought to have something to do with the long history of it being unlucky to acorn on a tuesday. Acorning is mostly undertaken by children, but occasionally lively teenagers who want to confuse people in areas unfamiliar with the pastime.

Acorners throughout history have always worn odd clothes, no matter the period, and the style of regalia donned by acorns has changed as often, if not more often, than the style of the time. One thing that has steadfast in acorner culture is the green bowler hat, decorated with acorns hanging from strings on the brim and sometimes patterns of oak leaves on top. Acorns sewn as buttons or into necklaces and dried, pressed oak leaves sewn onto clothing are also marks of an acorner that have  endured through time.

Acorning today is celebrated thoughout the world today except where acorns may be unavailable, and is outlawed in Slovenia.



2 Responses to “Acorning: A History”

  1. grodgo1 December 15, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    This must be undertaken when you return once more to ye ol’ canberry

    • mitchbeard December 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

      But of course!
      All of the nostalgia of acorning in Eaglehawk as a kid.

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