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Paul Pitcher Day – January 24, 2023

A very interesting day, Paul Pitcher Day is celebrated annually on January 24 and is observed most peculiarly. The people of Cornwall started this day to celebrate one of the most important events in Christian history — the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. They celebrate by drinking ale and destroying the empty pitchers. They then replace the pitchers with new ones and refill them with ale. This celebration occurs on the eve of the Conversion of St. Paul. The famous hurl of this celebration is “Paul’s Eve, and here’s a heave!”

History of Paul Pitcher Day

Paul Pitcher Day, quirky as it may seem, celebrates one of the most important events in Christian history, which is the conversion of the apostle St. Paul. The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul is celebrated in different ways across different regions, however, the peculiar way of an English county has become what is now popularly known as Paul Pitcher Day.

St. Paul, originally known as Saul, was a Pharisee and was responsible for the persecution of the early disciples of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. He was on his way to Damascus for the arrest of more Jews when he encountered Jesus Christ and became saved, becoming one of the most important figures in the Apostolic Age. The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul is celebrated on January 25, and just like other Christian festivities, the days leading up to the main event are just as important as the day itself.

In the English county of Cornwall, which used to be home to tin miners, they celebrate a new season of mining and sailing, along with the eve of the conversion of St. Paul, by setting up pitchers in public places and throwing stones at them until they break. A replacement pitcher is bought and filled with beer, and the people drink from it throughout the day and repeat the celebrations.

This peculiar form of celebration began as a rebellion against the rule of only allowing drinking of water during working hours. The people will either line pitchers up and throw stones at them or hurl them against walls or doors of community members’ homes yelling “It’s Paul’s Eve, and here’s a heave!” Old Cornish tradition has it that Jesus Christ went to Cornwall with his uncle Joseph, and laid the foundation of Christianity in those parts.

Paul Pitcher Day timeline

1870
Pitch A House

John Brand accounts for the parading of broken pitcher pieces and hurling them at houses.

1874
Further Documentation

Notes and queries account for the Paul Pitcher festivities.

1886
The Folklore Journal

A folklore journal documents pots being filled with debris, and then the drinking of alcohol after they have been broken.

1908
The Conversion is Celebrated

The Feast of the conversion of St. Paul is celebrated at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Paul Pitcher Day FAQs

Who is Paul Pitcher?

Paul Pitcher is not a particular person. Traditionally, people who participate in the breaking or crushing of pitchers on Paul Pitcher Day are called Paul Pitchers.

What does Paul Pitcher mean?

The name itself was coined from the two major parts of the celebration — the eve of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, and the breaking of pitchers.

Is Paul Pitcher Day a national holiday?

Paul Pitcher Day is mostly celebrated in England, particularly in the county of Cornwall. The celebration of the day has declined over the years, however, the Paul Pitcher Day website is making efforts to bring it back in style.

Paul Pitcher Day Activities

  1. Break a pitcher

    The best way to celebrate Paul Pitcher Day is to break a pitcher yourself. Don’t worry, the festivities are not limited to beer pitchers only. You can break a pitcher of water or any other breakable vessel you can lay your hands on. Line them up and throw stones at them or simply smash them against a wall. Invite friends to join in on the fun.

  2. Drink some beer

    This day originally started as a rebellion against work sobriety, and so, celebrations include drinking up beer contents from a pitcher, refilling them, and doing it all over again. Drink a smooth glass of English beer today to celebrate like the Cornish people.

  3. Learn about St. Paul

    The conversion of St. Paul is the major reason for this day, as it celebrates the eve of the feast of the conversion. To understand why St. Paul plays such an important role in Cornish and Christian history in general, learn more about him. The “Book of Acts” in the Bible highlights the early life and teachings of the apostle, and the majority of the New Testament also does so. You could also do some online research on the vast workings of the apostle St. Paul.

5 Interesting Facts About Saint Paul

  1. He wasn’t much younger than Jesus Christ

    Paul was most likely two to six years younger than Jesus.

  2. You can see where he got converted

    ‘Straight’ is a street in Damascus and is said to be where Paul got called by God.

  3. He survived a poisonous snake bite

    Paul got bit by a poisonous snake after getting shipwrecked on the island of Malta.

  4. He saw heaven

    In the book of “Corinthians” in the Bible, Paul described experiencing heaven.

  5. He was from two opposing tribes

    Apostle Paul was both a Jew and a Roman.

Why We Love Paul Pitcher Day

  1. It’s a great excuse to break things

    In this stress-burdened world we live in, anything that could help us relieve some of the tension would be welcomed. It’s a known fact that certain showcases of aggression such as punching or breaking a few old items can be a form of major stress relief. Paul Pitcher Day gives us a healthy opportunity to break things and enjoy ourselves while doing it.

  2. It’s a fun day

    Paul Pitcher Day is a really fun and unique day. All activities held during the day are all set to pique interests and create excitement, and even have a few drinks while you do so. If you’re a fun-lover, then you’d definitely be a lover of this day as well.

  3. It’s important to the people of Cornwall

    Paul Pitcher Day is an important event to the people of Cornwall county, particularly those of the Christian religion. It is an important part of their history and the mining communities and should be kept afloat.

Paul Pitcher Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 24Tuesday
2024January 24Wednesday
2025January 24Friday
2026January 24Saturday
2027January 24Sunday

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