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Appears in
The Daily Mail Modern British Cookbook

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1998

  • About

Wakes were originally feasts held the night before the dedication of a church, the date being celebrated annually with a parish fair. By the 17th century these had become riotous affairs held in the church yards with ‘indecent and scandalous behaviour’, as an 18th-century historian noted, and were for a time banned by Cromwell. Over the years, wakes expanded from occasions for eating, drinking and behaving badly to big fairs like that held each year on All Saints Night in Wakefield in Yorks