Another England - summer

Throughout England, as in many parts of the world, local communities continue to observe seasonal events linked to a particular environment on a specific day. These calendar customs, often used as examples of a national love for sport, a rich history of folk tradition or a quietly subversive eccentricity, exist outside the established institutions of church, state and monarchy and away from more aggressive expressions of nationalism.

Generally ignoring change and outside influence these events exist as an expression of a communal identity that seems to belong to another place and time. As such they might appear quaint, nostalgic and picturesque, a part of the country’s heritage to be protected and preserved. Alternatively, they might be seen as exclusively white and patriarchal, out of time and out of place in a modern Britain.

Nevertheless these events continue to play an important role within the contemporary communities concerned occupying a valuable place in the local calendar, more important to many than Christmas or New Year, and providing those who engage and participate as performer or spectator, with a sense of belonging not just to a contemporary community, but through the ritual of tradition to a historical one.

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Winter / Spring / Summer / Autumn

Padstow Obby Oss. Padstow, Cornwall. May Day eve and May Day.

Minehead Hobby Horse. Minehead, Somerset. May Day Eve and following three days excepting Sundays.

Royal May Day. Knutsford, Cheshire. First Saturday in May.

Cheese Rolling and Wake. Cooper’s Hill, Gloustershire. Spring Bank Holiday Monday.

Bellerby Feast. Bellerby, North Yorkshire. Spring Bank Holiday Monday.

Maypole Rising. Barwick-in-Elmet, West Yorkshire. Spring Bank Holiday Tuesday, Triennially.

Garland Day. Castleton, Derbyshire. Oak Apple Day (29th May).

Bawming the Thorn. Appleton, Cheshire. Third Saturday in June.

Woodlands Love Feast. Alport Castles, South Yorkshire. First Sunday in July.

Rushbearing. Forest Chapel, Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire. Sunday nearest to 12th August.

Burning the Bartle. West Witton, North Yorkshire. Saturday following 24th August.

Boundary Riding. Richmond, North Yorkshire. 27th August every 10 years.