Blackberry Bush

Blackberry Day

Sep 12

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Blackberry Day
Blackberry Bush
Show More

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"We trekked and picked until the cans were full, Until the tinkling bottom had been covered With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's." ~ Blackberry-Picking, Seamus Heaney, 1999

September 12th is Blackberry Day, a traditional berry picking day, related to the statistical date when blackberries reach their peak ripeness in the English Midlands. There are many modern cousins and crosses of blackberries with delicious flavours. The Tayberry is a Scottish cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry, In the US, delicious descendants are the Ollalieberry (a cross between the Black Logan blackberry and the Youngberry, itself a cross between a blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry; and the Marionberry (a cross between the California blackberry, loganberry, and the Ollalieberry).

Blackberry Bush

Blackberry, Bramble, Bumble-Kite, Bramble-Kite, Bly,  Brummel, Brameberry, Scaldhead, and Brambleberry ... whatever name you use for these delicious berries, September 12th is Blackberry Day, a traditional berry picking day.

 

The name of this dance comes from the traditional tune of the same name. 

The Tayberry (see photo below) is a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry, patented in 1979 by Derek L. Jennings of Dundee, Scotland,  and named after the river Tay.

The fruit is sweeter, much larger, and more aromatic than that of the loganberry, itself a blackberry and red raspberry cross. The tayberry is grown for its edible fruits which can be eaten raw or cooked, but the fruit do not pick easily by hand and cannot be machine harvested, so they have not become a commercially grown berry crop.

Tayberries have a naturally high level of pectin, so they're perfect for jam and pie fillings. 

So if you are harvesting your blackberries today (or before Devil's Spit Day, reckoned on either Michaelmas (September 29th) or Old Michaelmas (October 10th), when blackberries are no longer deemed to be safe, having been fouled by the Devil), and are looking for recipes, try the perfect late summer desert, Michaelmas Blackberry Dumplings, from Lavender & Lovage. 

Folklore in the British Isles suggests that Michaelmas day (or old Michaelmas Day, October 10th or 11th) is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that when St. Michael expelled Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the skies and landed in a prickly blackberry bush. Satan cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, and stamped and spat on them (or worse), so that they would be unfit for eating. As it is considered ill-advised to eat them after 29 September, a Michaelmas pie is made from the last of the season.

Click the photo below for the recipe.

Blackberry Bush
Blackberry Bush

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

Follow us on social media

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle

© 2019 Curious Magpie Designs