Celebrate Oranges & Lemons Day -Today!

At St. Clement Dane's Church in London, children celebrate this festival which takes its name from the old nursery rhyme:

Oranges and lemons

Say the bells of St Clement’s

You owe me five farthings

Say the bells of St Martin’s

When will you pay me?

Say the bells of Old Bailey

When I grow rich

Say the bells of Shoreditch

When will that be?

Say the bells of Stepney

I’m sure I don’t know

Says the great bell at Bow

Here comes a candle to light you to bed

Here comes a chopper to chop off your head

Chop chop chop chop the last man’s head!

The church, founded by the Danish merchants, is located on the banks of the River Thames, and as the story goes, in the old days, the river at London was wider than it is now and barges carrying oranges and lemons landed just below the churchyard of St. Clements Dane, and, as each ship arrived, the bells of the old church would ring.  On the last day of March, local primary school children gather at the church to attend a service. They recite the famous nursery ' rhyme and, on occasions, play the tune on hand bells. At the end of the service, the children are presented with an orange and a lemon from a table outside the church.