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Strange British traditions

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A presentation made from an entry in Daily Telegraph, fully acknowledged, for educational purposes only.

A presentation made from an entry in Daily Telegraph, fully acknowledged, for educational purposes only.


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  • 1. Strange British Traditions From http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/exp atpicturegalleries/10199079/Picturegallery-strange-British-traditions.html
  • 2. Viking heritage The fire festival of Up Helly Aa takes takes place in Lerwick, Shetland, on the last Tuesday in January every year to celebrate Viking heritage. It includes a torch lit procession and the burning of a replica Viking ship. Picture: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
  • 3. The Straw Bear Festival The Straw Bear Festival is held every January in Whittlesea, Cambridgeshire. A man dressed in straw is led through the streets followed by dancers and musicians. It's unclear when the tradition began, but the bear's original mission appears to have been to entertain the townsfolk in return for gifts of money and food for the local ploughmen. Picture: BRIAN HARRIS
  • 4. Pearly Kings and Queens Pearly Kings and Queens, known as pearlies, are a famous charitable organisation in London. The practice of wearing clothes decorated with mother-of-pearl buttons originated in the 19th century and is first associated with Henry Croft, an orphan street sweeper who collected money for charity. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • 5. The Haxey Hood The Haxey Hood is a large rugby-style game that takes place in the village of Haxey in North Lincolnshire, England, each January. A scrum of people, called the "sway", pushes a leather tube called the "hood" into one of the four public houses in the parish. It's thought to have originated centuries ago when an aristocratic woman's riding hood was whipped off by the wind and local farm workers chased after it. Picture: Christopher Furlong
  • 6. Chimney sweeping Traditional chimney sweeping is celebrated in Rochester, Kent, each May with three days of Morris dancing, music and entertainment on the streets. The festival marks the sweeps' traditional May 1 holiday. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • 7. Dancing with ribbons Traditional dancing with ribbons around a may pole is performed in many villages to celebrate the arrival of spring. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • 8. World Worm Charming Championships Tap dancing for worms takes place at the World Worm Charming Championships in Willaston, Cheshire, each June. Charmers are also allowed to entice the creatures out of the ground through patting the soil and playing music - but digging is not allowed. Picture: John Robertson
  • 9. Summer solstice in Stonehenge Pagans gather at the ancient Stonehenge site in Wiltshire to celebrate the summer solstice each June. Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
  • 10. Swan Upping Swan Upping is a traditional census of the Queen's swans on certain stretches of the River Thames each July. It dates back to the 12th century. All swans belong to the monarch. Picture: Paul Grover
  • 11. A penny for the Guy Collecting a penny for the Guy - an effigy made out of stuffed clothes - is part of the commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot, marked each November 5. It celebrates the survival of King James 1 after Catholic plotter Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the House of Lords in 1605. The effigy is later burned on a bonfire, accompanied by fireworks. Picture: Fox Photos/Getty Images
  • 12. Burning the clocks festival – winter solstice Paper lanterns are burnt on the beach as part of the burning the clocks festival each December in Brighton, England, to mark the winter solstice. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • 13. Wassailing – blessing the orchards Wassailing is a traditional pagan celebration to bless the orchards to bring good apples for the new season. One of the most famous examples is pictured here in Hartney Witney, Hampshire, where the Hook Eagle Morris Men read a toast to the apple trees, accompanied by traditional songs. Picture: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images