Causing a stir on Stir-Up Sunday

If you follow The Royal Mint on social media, you will have noticed that last Sunday was ‘Stir-Up Sunday‘ – a day when families and groups get together to make their Christmas puddings. Traditionally the final ingredient to be stirred in to the mix is a silver sixpence – it is believed to bring the finder wealth and good luck for the year to come. Some families have used the same Christmas sixpence for as long as they can remember, passed down from generation to generation. As for others, this year’s Stir-Up Sunday marked the start of a new family Christmas tradition.

Stir Up Sunday ingredients and Christmas pudding

Christmas Traditions and Coins

Christmas traditions and coins have long been connected; did you know the tradition of Christmas stockings began with coins? St Nicholas, a 4th Century Greek saint loved giving gifts to those less fortunate. He had heard of a local nobleman, who had lost both his wife and his money and consequently moved into a peasants’ cottage with his three daughters, all of marriageable age. In those days, a girl needed a dowry to offer to the groom’s parents, of which this man certainly couldn’t afford. St Nicholas knew they were too proud to accept charity but had spotted that the girls hung their stockings up to dry above the fire; so St Nicholas climbed down the chimney and put a bag of silver coins into the oldest girl’s stocking. He went back a second and third time doing the same, however on the third time, he was caught in the act by the girl’s father. St Nicholas begged him not to tell anyone, but to no avail as word got out and everyone started to hang their stockings in hope of a visit from St Nicholas! Have you ever found silver coins in your Christmas stocking?

From stockings to Stir-Up Sunday

This year, we wanted to revive the tradition of Stir-Up Sunday and bring families and groups together for this fun-filled activity. We ran a competition to gift silver sixpences to 2,015 lucky entrants, and a phenomenal 24,702 pudding pledges were made. We have been overwhelmed by the response and it has been lovely to see Christmas pudding making firsts and for an old tradition being continued. We encouraged all those taking part to share their Stir-Up Sunday with us on our Twitter and Instagram, tagging @RoyalMintUK and using the hashtag #stirupsunday. We would like thank you all for joining in, and here are a few of our best bits from yesterday’s Stir-Up Sunday activity for you all to see!

Stir Up Sunday

becsstirupStir Up Sunday

The day appeared to be fun for families and groups far and wide and here at The Royal Mint we ‘stirred’ along with the rest of the nation. Here’s the pudding I made with a little help from Penny…

Stir Up Sunday

We would also, of course like to hear how your Christmas puddings taste on Christmas day. If you would like to keep us in the loop then feel free to share your pudding verdict with us on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts.

If you haven’t made your Christmas pudding yet, you can find out more about Stir-Up Sunday and download The Royal Mint Christmas pudding recipe on our website here.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope to see you for next year’s Stir-Up Sunday festivities!

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  • BrazilNut

    Can never remember having a sixpence in the pudding. I am at an age where it used to be silver three pence piece. When my mother died, her collection of three pence pieces were shared between her grandchildren.

  • bernard slade

    i always understood that all sixpences post about 1930 were less than 50% silver and 1947 onwards cupro nickel so silver sixpences in the forties were already extremely difficult to find and the siver sixpence depicted above being 1941 vintage is not actually silver .interestingly the original silver coins of the victorian and edwardian eras had a built in antibiotic function as most germs cant live on silver

  • Gordon Walker

    I do not remember silver sixpence in our puddings. It was ALWAYS a silver three penny coin.