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1st May - The festival starts at midnight in the early hours of Mayday. The actual Hobby Horse is a hoop covered with black material with an African mask, and a horses head with snapping jaws. A man stands inside the hoop and the procession parades around the town. The festival has ancient origins. Read More »
Last Sunday in August - A service is held in Cucklet Cleft (Cucklet Church), a natural cavern destroyed by glacier ice near Eyam, Derbyshire. The service commemorates the bravery of the Eyam villagers and William Mompesson, for closing Eyam village after it became infested with the plague in 1665. Read More »
This takes place on the Monday following twelfth night. Ploughs were traditionally blessed in churches at this time, to ready them for the coming of spring.
The abbey is said to be haunted by Eleanor of Aquataine - Henry II's queen, who was exiled here before her death in France in 1204.
Monks also celebrated a feast of fools here on New Years Day; the festival was thought to be christianised version of the Roman festivals Saturnalia, and Bachanalia.
As far as I am aware Rochdale no longer celebrates the Rush Bearing festival, though nearby Littleborough revived theirs in 1991 and continue to celebrate it each year. Below is description of how Rochdale and its Rush-Bearing from Lancashire Legends (1873) by John Harland & T T Wilkinson. Read More »
23 May - Rogation Day is a rare festival from the Christian calender. Rogation Day is one of the three days prior to Ascension Day and would see processions going around parish boundaries blessing their crops. This was known as 'beating the bounds'.
Scarborough also has a Robin Hood legend. On one of his adventures he joined the small fishing fleet, but turned out to be a useless fisherman, as he forgot to bait the hooks. Read More »
March 18 - Sheellah's Day is an Irish festival in honour of Sheelah-na-gig.
2 November - All Souls Day is related to Samhain and commemorating the dead.
30 November - St Andrews Day, patron Saint of Scotland.
1 February - St Brigit is a Christianised version of Brighid or Bride, a goddess associated with the beginning of spring, once widely venerated in by the Celts.
23 November - The Patron Saint of Iron workers, it is possibly an earlier festival date of Wayland or another smith god.
March 1 - This is St Davids Day, the patron Saint of Wales who died on this date 598AD.
Today St George’s Day is not celebrated in England with anywhere near the vigour it was in past centuries, and is actually celebrated more in other countries that share his patronage, with traditions that have not been broken for hundreds of years. Read More »
St Lewina was a young British virgin who was martyred by Saxons on 24 July 687AD (whilst Theodore was 7th Archbishop of Canterbury). Following her death she was buried at Seaford, near Lewes in East Sussex. Read More »
13 December - Traditionally a day for divining the identity of future husbands.
24 April - The feast day of St Mark the Evangelist (founder of the Church of Alexandria) falls on 25th April, but there are some interesting folk customs that fall on the eve of the feast.
Divining Who Is To Die Read More »
15 July - The Bishop of Winchester or St Swithin died in AD 862. In legend the monks could not remove his body for 40 days and 40 nights because of torrential rain. It has now become folklore that if it rains on St Swithins day, it will rain for 40 days and 40 nights.
14 February - An ancient festival dedicated later to St Valentine. It is associated with love and marriage. In the past some of its customs involved looking into the future to try and reveal the identity of future partners.
Strange Mitcham by James Clark was first published as a booklet in 2002 as part of ASSAP's (Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) Project Albion. It was updated and republished in 2011 giving James the opportunity to add a few more articles and further information. Read More »
Project Albion is part of one of ASSAP’s longest running and most successful research endeavours and it has been likened to a Domesday book of the paranormal. It is an attempt to record the full spectrum of anomalies, past and present, within their geographical, as well as historical, context. Read More »
21 June - Summer Solstice is the longest day in the year.
The gyst-ale, or guising feast, was an annual festival of the town of Ashton-under-Lyne. It appears from the rental of Sir John de Assheton, compiled a.d. 1422, that a sum of twenty shillings was paid to him as lord of the manor for the privilege of holding this feast by its then conductors. Read More »