The week in which they occur is sometimes called Rogation Week.
In former times when maps were rare it was usual to make a formal perambulation of the parish boundaries on Ascension day or during Rogation week.
Beating the bounds had a religious side in the practice which originated the term Rogation, the accompanying clergy being supposed to beseech (rogare) the divine blessing upon the parish lands for the ensuing harvest.
Thus at Leighton Buzzard on Rogation Monday, in accordance with the will of one Edward Wilkes, a London merchant who died in 1646, the trustees of his almshouses accompanied the boys.
The boundaries of the old ecclesiastical parishes are usually identical with those of the township or townships comprised within its precinct; they are determined by usage, in the absence of charters or records, and are evidenced by perambulations, which formerly took place on the "gang-days" in Rogation week, but are now, where they still survive, for the most part held triennially, the Poor-Law Act of 1844 permitting the parish officers to charge the expense on the poor-rate, "provided the perambulations do not occur more than once in three years."