On the 21st of December is Thomas’ Mass. Other names for this day are Thomas Brewer, Thomas with the Bucket and Thomas Full-barrel. The farmer’s primstav marks were a cross, a barrel or a hand reaching up.
On this day the Christmas beer was transferred into barrels. It was a time for taste testing and often the neighbours would come to have a little beer party.
The tar store was checked. If it was low then more tar needed to be made as it provided protection from evil spirits. The men would use the tar to paint crosses on houses and barns, on all the windows and doors, to ward off the evil spirits. They would also place wooden crosses in the fields, on tables, in the barn next to the beer and at the well.
This was also the day to make lefse for Christmas. The farmers waited for Saint Thomas to ‘bring the brewers water’ – mild weather for Christmas.
It was important to have all the Christmas preparations finished by this day because the next day ‘Christmas peace’ was announced.