Pots could be smashed in two ways. Firstly, you could line the pots up and throw pebbles and rocks at them until they broke, or you could pick up the pot and throw it against a wall, saying the special rhyme “it’s Paul’s Eve and here’s a heave”.
No one really knows why people chose to smash pots like this! Paul Pitcher Night traditionally takes place on the evening before the feast day celebrating St Paul’s conversion. St Paul was one of the earliest and most important Christians.
At one time, all across Cornwall, people came together to smash pots and pitchers to celebrate Saint Paul’s conversion to Christianity. This was particularly popular in Bodmin where the young people of the town used to carry their broken pots in a procession.