Stir Up Sunday

Supriya Jain
Dec 22, 2023 By Supriya Jain
Originally Published on May 01, 2022
Stir Up Sunday is the day for faithful people to bake recipes of fruit puddings during the festive season.

Where is Stir Up Sunday celebrated?

Stir Up Sunday is celebrated mostly in the UK every year on the last Sunday before the season of Advent, where people bake their Christmas puddings in time for Christmas Day.

Who is the Stir Up Sunday celebrated by?

Stir Up Sunday is celebrated by families, neighbors, and friends all across England.

When did Stir Up Sunday start?

The start of the event of Stir Up Sunday dates back to the time of Queen Victoria, although there's no specific mentions of the year it first began.

Who started the Stir Up Sunday?

Stir Up Sunday was started by George I as he was the one who re-introduced plum pudding.

Brandy and rum are included in some Christmas puddings recipes, baked on this day for adding to the delicious flavor.

History and Timeline

There is no solidified history of Stir Up Sunday with only a few dates mentioned, but the actual roots of Stir Up Sunday dates back to the Victorian Era when people would stir and make puddings together.

Traditions and Customs

On Stir-Up Sunday, the whole family gets together to make puddings for Christmas, using a traditional recipe or trying something new. As the tradition goes, Christmas pudding is a pudding containing fruit pulp.

The puddings have to be left undisturbed for almost five weeks so that all the ingredients soak into the pudding evenly. The pudding is supposed to contain 13 ingredients to represent Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles.

The recipe for making the pudding must include citron, suet, brandy, sugar, flour, breadcrumbs, almonds, lemons, egg, candied peels, dried fruits, and mixed spices. Sometimes chocolate is also used to make chocolate pudding and sometimes fruit cake is also made with the pudding.

On this day, making puddings is a symbol of family tradition.

Each member of the family takes a turn in stirring the batter of the pudding and making a wish for the upcoming year. After that, it is passed to the next family member who stirs, wishes, and does the same.

The batter should be stirred clockwise to pay tribute to the three wise men who showered baby Jesus with gifts after trekking west to Bethlehem. In the old tradition, a silver coin would be thrown into the batter before steaming.

It was thought that the family member who receives the silver coin will have a wealthy life. Sometimes the coins were wrapped in tin foil to make them more visible.

Sometimes the pudding is also set on fire to represent the burning passion of Lord Jesus Christ. On Christmas, the pudding is topped with hollies to represent Jesus' crown of thorns.

Ways to observe or celebrate Stir Up Sunday

Gather together with your family and friends. Learn how to mix and steam Christmas pudding. Know the ingredients for making your Christmas pudding and top them with several toppings.

Take a break from the regular busy schedule of your daily life and experience something unique, fun, and delicious. Make wishes for the future and visit your relatives and friends. Don't forget to eat these puddings on Christmas!

Facts and Stats

Only plastic hollies are used for decorating the Christmas pudding during Stir Up Sunday. The real holly berries are poisonous!

Even though a fire is sometimes set on the pudding to celebrate Christmas, it doesn't have a burned taste. This is because the pudding is not burnt, but the vapor that is coming out of the pudding is burned.

Stir Up Sunday is an old baking tradition celebrated annually on the last Sunday before the season of Advent, usually five weeks before Christmas. In 2022, it is celebrated on November 20.

First Christmas Pudding

The first Christmas Pudding was made in the form of porridge with the recipe including a mixture of beef, mutton, spices, wine, and various kinds of dry fruits.


Porridge To Pudding

The porridge slowly changed into a kind of plum pudding over 200 years with the addition of breadcrumbs, eggs, and dried fruits to improve the flavor and texture. It was around this time that this event got its name from 'The Book Of Common Prayer' in 1549.


Prayer To The Lord

The name, Stir Up Sunday, is derived from the book named, 'The Book Of Common Prayer' in which the collection starts by calling for Lord Jesus for this occasion of Stir Up Sunday.


An Evil Meal

The pudding gained popularity quickly and had become an official item of Christmas dinner in households throughout the UK. However, the popularity was short-lived as it was rumored to be an evil meal.



The pudding was nowhere to be seen until, almost after five decades, George I of Germany decided to bring the pudding back as he quite liked the taste of plum pudding. Since then, it has become a staple food recipe for many people's Christmas dinners.


What date is Stir Up Sunday this year?

Stir Up Sunday is celebrated on 20 November 2022.

Why do you stir Christmas pudding clockwise?

Christmas pudding is stirred clockwise to represent the three Magis who trekked to Bethlehem and visited baby Jesus giving him numerous gifts.

What are some essential things we need to keep in mind while celebrating stir up Sunday?

While celebrating Stir Up Sunday, it's important to remember that the entire process of baking and making puddings should be joyful and fun. Celebrate this day as a happy occasion in the lead up to Christmas, and not a responsibility. Decorate the Christmas pudding however you wish and follow the traditional way of making puddings.

What are some reasons for celebrating Stir Up Sunday?

One of the reasons to celebrate Stir Up Sunday is to help ensure you're fully prepared ahead of Christmas so that the big day can be celebrated with ample time and enough love. Second, this day is a good time to release all your worries while stirring the batter.

A day to be together enjoying time with friends and family is another reason for celebrating Stir Up Sunday.

What is the importance of celebrating Stir Up Sunday?

The event of Stir Up Sunday marks traditional importance in history. Celebrating Stir Up Sunday gives one ample time to take care of the rest of the preparations for Christmas and this day brings people closer to each other.

Who inspired Stir Up Sunday?

The re-introduction of the plum pudding to celebrate Christmas by George I helped to inspire this day, as well as 'The Book of Prayers'.

When Is This Day Celebrated

  • Saturday, November 21, 2020
  • Saturday, November 20, 2021
  • Saturday, November 19, 2022
  • Saturday, November 25, 2023
  • Saturday, November 23, 2024

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Supriya Jain

Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Supriya Jain picture

Supriya JainBachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.

Read full bio >