In a bid to recognise The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus which from 1568 to 1960 was called “The Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity” and celebrated on the 1st January, over 5000 Tyrone men have agreed to be circumcised on that day with many opting for public ceremonies.
Although the Church have distanced themselves from the event, many theologians have backed the initiative as an honourable attempt to overturn the decision of Pope John XXIII’s in 1960 who renamed the day by omitting any reference to circumcision.
One volunteer from Cappagh, Pat Rice (61), maintains he is a little bit nervous but reckons it sends a message out to today’s youth that Christianity is still alive and well in mid-Ulster:
“I admit I’ve had a few sleepless nights thinking about it, especially as ours is being carried out in the middle of the local football field on the back of a lorry. But the organisers promise the crowd will be told to stay behind the fence and there is a ban on zooming devices such as cameras or binoculars. I’ll throw a few half’uns into me first and it’ll be dead on.”
The largest group appears to be in Ardboe with over 900 men agreeing to the circumcision. Gardener Leo Tomney agrees that it sends out a positive message:
“Young ones nowadays have lost their way. They’d rather stay in the house on their computers instead of going to Devotions or doing a stint at the Missions. By showing them that we’re proud of our faith and are willing to undergo open-air surgery, maybe it’ll turn a few back to the light. I’ve a new pair of jeans and all for the big day.”
200 nurses will be on standby throughout the day.
A study carried out yesterday by the Northern Ireland Institute of Studies confirmed that the majority of people in Tyrone continue to stuff themselves senseless in an effort to get through all the left-over Christmas food before it goes past its sell-by date.
“Christmas itself was bad enough, but this is beyond a joke”, complained 54-year old Nuala O’Neill from Brocagh, through a mouthful of Tesco’s ‘Taste The Difference’ Plum Pudding. “I nearly gave myself the boke after eating a dozen roast potatoes out the fridge that had been there since Boxing Day. To be honest they were completely rancid, but they needed eaten. Can’t have these things going to waste you know”.
Mary Gough from The Moy agreed.
“I ate half a Christmas cake last night and then found out it can last for years. That wasn’t great news after having worked my way through the last of the turkey. We’ve had turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey pasta, turkey stew, and turkey surprise. I eventually ran out of ideas and ended up making turkey meringue pie. Quite nice actually”.
“The worst of it is I just can’t get rid of the stuff”, complained Sean McKenna of Aughabrack. “Someone gave me a tin of Marks & Spencer All-Butter Shortbread as a Christmas present, so I gave it to my ma as a gift on Boxing Day. Turns out she gave it to her niece on New Year’s Eve, who gave it to her daughter on New Year’s Day, who then gave it back to me as a present at the weekend. Feckin’ cheapskates”.
Marian Quinn from Cappagh admitted:
“I sent my 7 year old cub to school with fifteen mince pies for his packed lunch. Only two days to go before the sell-by date, so they needed used up. I know he’s allergic to pastry, but sure, he’ll manage fine”.
32-stone half-man, half-spacehopper Sidney Clarke from Ballygawley, said,
“I found a couple of smoothies in the fridge my mum had left and if truth be told I was wanting a more healthy diet for the new year anyway, so I got tore into them. I never realised one was clotted cream and the other pure goose fat. Tara. I got through three Cadbury’s selection boxes getting rid of the taste though, so it wasn’t all bad”.