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July 19, 2006

July 19th is Flitch Day

Flitch Day

© Kat Caverly

A flitch is measurement of bacon, equaling half a pig. But before you jump to the conclusion that this holiday celebrates excess and making a pig of yourself, which would be a very American tradition, I'll direct you to the following information.

Flitch Day is an old custom, originating in Dunmow, Essex, England. Once a year, a flitch or 'slab' of bacon was given to any married couple who could prove they had 'not wished themselves unwed.' To offer their proof, a couple went before a mock court. In this court was a jury of bachelors and maidens, to which the the married couple would try to prove that they had lived in harmony and fidelity for the past twelve months. If they succeeded in convincing the jury, the couple was awarded a flitch of bacon from the local monks. Not surprisingly, it is said that very few "took home the bacon."

There are historical references to this day as far back as 1104, and it was a regular civic event in Dunmow by the late 1800's. Eventually, those who settled in America, brought the tradition with them.

I suggest that the citizens of Dunmow may very well be the founders of Reality TV. For it sure sounds like unscripted entertainment full of ways for the married couple to be unpleasantly surprised with evidence contradicting their claims.

Not only does this custom still live in England, but it's an event now held every four years, and frequently televised.

Now the question remains, how long until FOX airs "Bring Home The Bacon" -- complete with single jury members with firsthand infidelity information to share.

Posted by photocartoonist at July 19, 2006 2:25 PM

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