Ascension Day

or Holy Thursday. The day set apart by the Catholic and Anglican Church to commemorate the ascent of our Lord from earth to heaven.

Formerly it was customary to beat the bounds of each respective parish on this day, and many practical jokes were played even during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, to make the boys remember the delimitations: such as “bumping them,” pouring water clandestinely on them from house windows, beating them with thin rods, etc. Beating the bounds was called in Scotland Riding the marches (bounds).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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