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30th April - Walpurgis Night, Beltane Eve, the Celtic Fire Festival celebrating the coming of summer.
28 April - Start of the Roman festival of Florania, to the goddess of flowering plants and sexuality.
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 »
21st April - Roman festival to the guardian of livestock, also the day that Romulus and Remus discovered Rome.
15th April - Roman offering to Tellus, a version of the earth mother. Usually an unborn calf was burned to protect their farms.
1st April - The morning of April the 1st has long been associated with trickery and practical jokes.
31st October - The Samhain festival marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter in the Celtic calendar, and is one of the four Celtic fire festivals - the quarter points in the solar year. It marked the point in the year were a time of plenty gave way to more lean times, in all probability the reason for its association with dread and eeriness. Read More »
Held on the nearest Saturday to the 18th October, the festival was established in 1267 and involved the distribution of crab-apples amid fun, games and traditional Cumberland Wrestling.
11 October - In the past on this day supposed relics of the Milk of Mary were venerated in abbeys across England. These were phials containing a drop of breast milk from the Virgin Mary.
2 September - In 1751 the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in Britain, resulting in the loss of 11 days, compared to the old Julian calendar.
1st Monday after 4 September - One of the oldest folk festivals in Britain. The dance involves six horn dancers equipped with reindeer horns painted white and brown, a Maid Marion, a boy armed with a bow and a hobby horse. The dancers make a 20-mile tour of the parish. The actual dance follows a snake like pattern, as the dancers intertwine with each other.
29 September - One of the quarter days, and a celebration of the Archangel Michael.
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 »
3rd or 4th Monday in August - Once said to have been celebrated with hilltop fires, the festival is now associated with Mary Queen of Scots. A Queen is voted from the local Irvine girls and a parade goes through the town along with other events.
14 August - On the second Friday of August, a man completely covered in Burdock burs (known as the Burryman) walks the boundaries of South Queensferry, a distance of seven miles. The ritual probably has pagan origins.
1 August - Celtic festival of Lugh, the god of light. Celebration of the early harvest, when loaves were baked and sometimes distributed from churches. Lammas is derived from Loaf Mass.
7th May - Hocktide which was a medieval English festival was generally celebrated on the second Tuesday after Easter. The men of the village would tie up the women and demand a kiss for their release. The following day thewomen would tie up the men and demand money for their release which would go to Parish funds. It is suggested that it celebrates the massacre of the Danes in the 11t 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'.
26th May - Tissington has its Well Dressing Day where for centuries it has been custom on Ascension Day to dress the five wells of the village, Yew Tree Well, Hall Well, Hands Well, Coffin Well and Town Well. In 1982 the Children's Well was introduced and has been part of th eceremony ever since. Read More »
13 May - Is Abbotsbury Garland Day a celebration of the old May Day from the Julian calendar. Flowers are woven into frames and carried about the town by children.
29th May - A Garland King and Lady ride around the parish boundary on white horses. A garland, which is a large cone of flowers, is placed over the king topped with a posy of flowers called the queen. After the tour the garland is placed on the church tower. The ceremony has ancient origins.
29th May - Is Arbor Day in Aston on Clun. A Poplar tree in the town is bedecked with flags, they are left on the tree all year round. The ceremony has been held each year at Aston on Clun since 1786 andprobablt dates back to 1660 when King Charles II declared a holiday in May called Arbor day following th erestoration of the monarchy.
8th May - Feast of the Apparition of St Michael. St Michael is one of the Archangels and is said to have appeared several times throughout history. In 391AD at Monte Cargano and in 495AD at St Michaels Mount in Cornwall. In 590AD he was seen by St Gregory the Great in the air sheathing his sword. Signalling the ces Read More »
8th May - The Helston Flurry Dance takes place, where Helstonians take part in a pagan ritual processional dance through the town in a custom that pre-dates Christianity and probably dates back to Celtic times. The dance takes place each eighth of May unless it falls on a Sunday or Monday and was probably originally a fertility or Spring festival. Read More »