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Whirlin Sunday (fifth In Lent)

( Originally Published 1884 )

At several villages in the vicinity of Wisbech, in the isle of Ely, the fifth Sunday in Lent has been, time immemorial, commemorated by the name of Whirlin Sunday, when cakes are made by almost every family, and from the day are called whirlin cakes ; but notwithstanding my frequent enquiries, I have not been able to discover the reason of this festival, which, I believe, obtains in no other place in the kingdom, and should be happy if any of your correspondents could elucidate a matter grossly involved in obscurity.

I write whirlin as it sounds in my ear; consequently, not having seen it in any Glossary which I have had opportunity to consult, I am not responsible for the orthography of the word.

I was going to say that whirlin is probably a corruption of whirlwind, and that the observance of the Sunday is to perpetuate the remembrance of such a convulsion of Nature having happened in an unusual manner in the village above mentioned; but the supposition is forbidden by the inhabitants considering the day as a festival, as I have already taken notice.

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