Stir up a silver sixpence with your Christmas pudding this Sunday
14 Nov 2014
The Royal Mint is reminding budding bakers, family members and Christmas enthusiasts to pick up some pudding ingredients, dust off their baking accessories and fasten their aprons to stir up a silver sixpence and celebrate Stir Up Sunday on 23rd November.
The custom of Stir Up Sunday dates back to Victorian times and is thought to originate from the opening words of the ‘collect for the day’ in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer; “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord.”
However, a survey in 2007* revealed that two thirds of British children had never stirred a Christmas pudding mix because their parents preferred to buy pre-made puddings.
Traditionally, families would gather together in their kitchen on the last Sunday before advent to bake their Christmas pudding, with each person giving the mixed ingredients a stir before making a wish.
These ingredients would include a coin, usually a silver sixpence, which was thought to bring wealth, health and happiness to whoever found it in their portion of pudding on Christmas Day.
Shane Bissett, The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin, Medals and Bullion, said, “Coins have a long standing association with Christmas and it is believed that the tradition of hanging up stockings began many years ago when Saint Nicholas began to leave bags of silver coins in the stockings of poor children. Stir Up Sunday has been considered the traditional day to make the family Christmas pudding for over a century, and some families have used the same silver sixpence for as long as they can remember – passing the treasured coin down from generation to generation. The Royal Mint is very proud to have played its part in Christmas traditions for hundreds of years, and we hope that these customs continue to delight family members of all ages for many years to come.”
The Royal Mint has handpicked a selection of the finest genuine silver sixpences struck between 1920 and 1946, when it was located at Tower Hill in London.
To purchase an authentic vintage silver sixpence to complete your Stir Up Sunday, or for further information about coin traditions at Christmas time, please visit www.royalmint.com