Another England - winter
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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