It has always been the case that some bearded brethren could not eat without catching a sort of residue in the whiskers and this was seldom decorative. Only the other day, while at a barber shop, I saw a barber with long, reddish whiskers of a vintage that harked back half a century, carefully picking bits of things out of them after lunch. Some men never like a mustache because it was so difficult to eat soup and feel clean afterward. That is alleged to have been the reason why Abraham Lincoln shaved his upper lip while letting everything else grow. (more on that here).
In reality, however, the custom originated in ecclesiastic circles centuries ago and can be traced back to the 1583 Council of Rouen. It had nothing to do with soup, per se. The council recommended that priest should shave their upper lip to avoid potentially contaminating the communion wine with foreign elements.
As Thanksgiving approaches, those of you participating in Movember don't have that option. Movember is the month that men put down their razors and grow beards (or moustaches) to raise the awareness of men's health issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide. It's also the month that America's first bearded (but not mustached) President, Abraham Lincoln, designated for the Holiday of Thanksgiving. Coincidence? We'll let the historians debate that.
For many of you, your beards and staches have grown pretty extensively by now. And for those of you that usually go beardless, this will be your first time eating in a more formal situation with facial hair. While you may not mind using your beard as a "flavor saver" alone at home, such behavior is inappropriate in front of relatives, friends and loved ones. So, in the spirit of Keeping It Together, we put together a Layrite Thanksgiving Beardiquette Guide to help keep your beard, and yourself, in pristine condition for the holiday.
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