I honestly thought there was a major cat fight starting in the office today as Kate and Emma flew at each other, pinching and punching. Who’d have thought such good friends and colleagues could turn on each other in the blink of an eye?
But no, it seems that I’ve managed to live my whole life knowing about white rabbits, but never having either pinched and punched or been on the receiving end of a pinch and a punch to celebrate the first of the month.
Emma, from Chorley and Kate, from Chester, blamed this violent tradition on the Tykes. But I’m Yorkshire born and bred and I’ve never come across it, though there is a corner of Mirfield that is forever Ireland, so maybe the pinching and punching passed me by while I was playing with my dad’s shillelagh.
The Vice Chancellor was in great danger of being pinched and punched as he passed the office and heard the commotion, but he’s from Plymouth and may not have been familiar with the tradition, I think they have a nautical theme down there.
A quick look on the interweb gave a wealth of suggestions about the origins of the tradition. The most likely sounding explanation is to do with witchcraft in Olde England (it always is, isn’t it?). The pinch is a pinch of salt to throw at the witch and the punch is to send her packing.Why not just land a house on her and have done with it?
Thank goodness for the other tradition celebrated on the first of December and continuing throughout the month. The opening of The Door to Chocolate, one for each day of Advent dates back to – err – the the 1980s……
Which leaves me with only one thing to say – white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits..