Of Oak Apples and Kings

A couple of weeks back (11th May), in answer to MariaAntonia’s #picoftheweek challenge, I featured an oak gall (The Very Gall). An oak gall is also known—incorrectly—as an oak apple. These are oak apples.

pale oak apple

An oak apple: 3 May 2019

Red oak apple

And another oak apple: 3 May 2019

It’s the gall’s immature form—the newly formed uterus, as it were—and it appears around this time of the year. Which explains why Restoration Day is more commonly known as Oak Apple Day.

However, for readers not steeped in British history, this might require some explanation.

Restoration Day, aka Oak Apple Day, dates back to May 1660 when Parliament passed into law—in its wonderfully convoluted language—that all British citizenry were henceforth to keep every 29 May as a public holiday.

Why that day? It was the day Charles II (son of the deposed and executed Charles I) rode triumphantly into London to restore the English monarchy and put an end to the Protectorate (think Roundheads, Cromwell, and the abolition of Christmas and all fun and games; the restoration of the fun and games was certainly worth celebrating). The oak was chosen because, it was said, after the Battle of Worcester (September 1651) Charles had hidden in an oak tree to effect his escape from the Roundhead army.

However, said public holiday was abolished in 1859. So, there you know. Is it worth reinstating? We could beat each other about the body with oak leaves!

Information gleaned from Wikipedia.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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34 Responses to Of Oak Apples and Kings

  1. The King’s escape is also commemorated in the great number of hostelries named, “Royal Oak,” so they say.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brian Bixby says:

    Sounds like it’s a mixed bag. True, you got rid of those pleasure-killers, the Puritans. But you got saddled with a royal family which doesn’t actually do anything a family of cats couldn’t do as well, and look prettier and cost less, in the bargain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    Most interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think reinstating it now would leave the day celebrated as just a day off, not so much a celebration if English history. I’d say it’s unlikely to be reinstated, but what fun if it were!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an interesting response!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joy Pixley says:

    I love to hear about all manner of holidays and weird celebrations and symbols, so put me down for celebrating, whether the holiday is officially celebrated or not. Especially if there will be some interesting food or drink to consume that is specific to that day, that’s always fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I’m wondering what be included in the food and drinks catergory. Possibly nothing to our liking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Nothing made from oak galls, that’s for certain! But I’ve always been curious about eating acorns, maybe in bread or mash.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Oh, acorns require so much processing to get rid of the tannin. You shell them pound them, wrap them in non-waterproof material, suspend them in running water for about 3 weeks. Or you can bury them. Then you dry them, and grind them. Then they’re ready for use. It’s hard to believe they were ever anything other than emergency food.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Yes, there’s a good reason they’re considered famine food and not staple food. Although there was one group that used them for staple food if I remember correctly… must have been desperate.

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        I believe that could be a tribe of Californian Indians. I think that’s where I found the recipe, though I could be wrong

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for sharing this! Enjoyed the history.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Violet Lentz says:

    Another lesson learned. What a source of knowledge you have become in my world!

    Liked by 1 person

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