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This list was extracted from Brian’s book, Traditional Customs of Britain, Webb & Bower, 1985, some of the events may no longer happen and dates may change for various reasons, some will not happen on Sundays for instance so you must check before quoting (or attending!) anything in this list. Not all are open to the public and some may require tickets or prior arrangement. It is reproduced here for your convenience. We do not have pictures of all these events, those we do are linked to.

Browse all customs.

New Year customs

Easter customs

May customs

Fire customs

Christmas customs

Children’s customs

Religious customs

Love and Marriage customs

Luck and superstition

Well Dressing

Holy Wells and Clootie wells

Procession customs

Dance customs

Music customs

Food customs

Sports and games

Mob football


Folk art


London customs

Legal customs




Burning the Wicker Man (Oyne)

Lonach Highland Gathering (Strathdon)

Swinging the Fireballs (Stonehaven)

Cowal Highland Games (Dunoon)

May Day (Ickwell)


Orange Rolling (Dunstable)

Wilkes Walk (Leighton Buzzard)

Wall Game (Eton)

Hock Tide Ceremony / Tuttimen (Hungerford)

Christingle (St Mary Redcliffe)

Christmas Crib (St Mary Redcliffe)

Harvest Festival (St Mary Redcliffe)

Pipe Walk (St Mary Redcliffe)

Rush Sunday (St Mary Redcliffe)

Tuppenny Starvers (St Michael-on-the-Mount Without)

Fenny Poppers (Fenny Stratford)

Pancake Race (Olney)

Swan Upping (Marlow)

Weighing The Mayor (High Wycombe)

Common Walk (Laugharne)

Dicing For Bibles (St Ives)

John Clare Day Cushion Ceremony (Helpston)

Straw Bear (Whittlesey)

World Conker Championship (Ashton, nr Oundle)

National Eisteddfod of Wales (Aberystwyth)

Bawming the Thorn (Appleton)

High Spen Rapper Sword Dancers (at Chester)

Jack In The Green (Knutsford)

NW Morris: Manchester Morris (at Knutsford)

NW Morris: Manley Morris (at Chester)

Royal May Day/ Sanding (Knutsford)

Souling Play (Antrobus)

Souling Play (Comberbach)

Sword Dancing (Loftus, at Chester)

Walking Day (Warrington)

Clog Dancing (East Looe)

Furry Dance (Helston)

Gorsedd Kerno (Bude and Roche)

Hal-an-tow (Helston)

Hobby Horse (Padstow Oss)

Hurling the Silver Ball (St Columb Major)

Hurling the Silver Ball (St Ives)

John Knill Ceremony (St Ives)

Marhamchurch Revel

Mazey Day / Golowan Festival (Penzance)

Midsummer Bonfire

‘Silver Ball’ Pub Sign (St Columb)

St Piran’s Day (Perranporth)

St Piran’s Day (Truro)

Stargazy Pie/Tom Bocock’s Eve (Mousehole)

Appleby Horse Fair

Easter Flowers (Barrow-in-Furness)

Egremont Crab Fair

Good Luck for School-leavers (Dalton-in-Furness)

Grasmere Sports

Gurning (Egremont)

Rushbearing (Ambleside)

Rushbearing (Grasmere)

Rushbearing (Warcop)

Uppies & Downies Football (Workington)

Castleton Garland

Derby Tup

Maiden's Garland (Ashford-in-the-Water)

Morris Dancing (Winster)

New Year Fancy Dress

Padley Chapel Ceremony

Plague Service (Eyam)

Royal Shrovetide Football (Ashbourne)

Winster Morris Dancers at Wakes Week

Well Dressing (all Derbyshire)

Well Dressing (Ashford in the Water including construction)

Well Dressing (Tissington including construction and service)

Cheese & Onion Fayre (Newton Abbot)

Fair (Barnstaple)

Fair (Honiton)

Fire Carnival (Hatherleigh)

Goosey Fair (Tavistock)

Lammas Fair (Exeter)

May Day (Lustleigh)

Pretty Maid / St Peter’s Fair (Holsworthy)

Tar Barrel Rolling (Ottery St Mary)

Town Criers’ Contest (Newton Abbot)

Turning the Devil's Stone (Shebbear)

Widecombe Fair

Ale Tasting (Wareham)

Abbotsbury Garland

Purbeck Marblers & Stonecutters Annual Meeting (Corfe)

Sherborne Dole

Teddy Rowe’s Band (Sherborne)

Common Riding (Langholm)

Flounder Tramping (Dalbeattie)

The Ball Game / Shrovetide Football (Sedgefield)

Choosing Day (Brightlingsea)

Dunmow Flitch Trial

Sir William Wallace Free Colliers / Pinkie Men (Falkirk)

Mari Lwyd (Llangynwyd)

National Eisteddfod of Wales (Neath 1993)

Orange Parade

Pipe Band Championships

Border Morris (Stow-on-the-Wold)

Bread & Cheese (St Briavels)

Cheese Rolling (Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth)

Church Clipping (Painswick)

Morris Dancing (Chipping Campden)

Mumming Play (Marshfield)

Scuttlebrook Wake (Chipping Campden)

Stow Fair (Stow-on-the-Wold)

Torchlight Procession (Chipping Campden)

Well Dressing (Bisley)

Saddleworth Whit Friday

Saddleworth Rushbearing

Bellringers’ Feast (Twyford)

Knighthood Of The Old Green (Southampton)

Maiden’s Garland (Abbotts Ann)

Mayor’s Sunday (Winchester)

Mumming Play (Overton)

Mumming Play (Crookham Village)

St Swithun’s Day Service (Winchester Cathedral)

Tichborne Dole

Verderer’s Court (Lyndhurst, New Forest)

Wayfarer’s Dole (St Cross, Winchester)

Boy Bishop (Hereford Cathedral)

Fownhope Walk

Pax Cakes (Hoarwithy)

Pax Cakes (Sellack)

Wassailing the Apple Trees (Pembridge)

Bakers & Sweeps Football (Waltham Cross)

Old Man of Braughing

Dunvegan Day (Skye)

St Mary’s Clootie Well (Culloden)

St Boniface Clootie Well (Munlochy)

Apprentice Boys March (Londonderry)

Auld Lammas Fair (Ballycastle, Co Antrim)

Ballinasloe Fair (Co Galway)

Bloomsday (Dublin)

Cemetery Sunday (Monasterboice, Co Louth)

Cemetery Sunday (Termonmaguire, Co Tyrone)

Hunting the Wren (Caherciveen, Co Kerry)

Matchmaking (Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare)

May Bank Holiday (Holywood, Co Down)

Orange Parades (Belfast)

Puck Fair (Killorglin, Co Kerry)

Reek Sunday Pilgrimage (Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo)

St Patricks Day (Dublin, Belfast)

Straw Boys / Armagh Rhymers (in Co Tyrone)

The Bartlemas Bun (Sandwich)

Chulkhurst Charity / Biddenden Dole (Biddenden)

Maypole Dancing (Wickhambreaux)

Sweeps Festival (Rochester)

Lanimer Day (Lanark)

Britannia Coconut Dancers (Bacup)

Egg Rolling (Preston)

Judges’ Procession (Preston)

Easter Carol Singing (Market Harborough)

Hare Pie Scramble & Bottle Kicking (Hallaton)

Good Friday Bridge Sermon (Crowland)

Christmas Market (Lincoln)

Hood Game (Haxey)

Baddeley Cake (Drury Lane Theatre)

Blessing The Throats (St Etheldreda, Ely Place, Holborn)

Bluecoat March (Christ’s Hospital School)

Bounds Beating (Aldersgate)

Bounds Beating (Tower of London)

Butterworth Charity (St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield)

Call Ceremony (Gray’s Inn)

Charles I Commemoration (Trafalgar Square)

Chelsea Hospital Founder's Day

Chinese New Year


Christmas Day Swim (Serpentine, Hyde Park)

Clown's Service (Dalston)

Constable’s Dues (Tower of London)

Doggett’s Coat & Badge Race (River Thames)

Druid Spring Equinox (Tower Hill)


Easter Parade (Battersea Park)

Easter Procession on Good Friday (Westminster)

Egg Rolling (Fleet Street)

Fair (Hampstead)

Farthing Bundles (Fern Street Settlement)


Fish Harvest Festival (St Mary at Hill, Billingsgate)

Founders Day (Friern Barnet School)

Gibson Vault (Sutton)

Guy Fawkes

Harness Horse Parade (Regent’s Park / Battersea Park)

Horseman’s Sunday (Hyde Park)

Lord Chancellor's Breakfast (Westminster)

Lord Mayor's Election

Lord Mayor's Show

Nativity Play

New Year

Notting Hill Carnival


Punch & Judy

Punch’s Birthday (Covent Garden)

Red Feather Day (Sir John Cass School EC3)

John Stow's Quill Pen

Swan Upping

Tyburn Walk

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Vintners Procession

Westminster Lord Mayor’s Show

The Widow's Bun (Bromley-by-Bow)

Beltane Festival (Edinburgh)

Burry Man (Queensferry)

Fishermen's Walk (Musselburgh)

New Year’s Day Swim / Loony Dook (Queensferry)

Burning the Clavie (Burghead)

Blessing the Plough (Cawston)

Kings Lynn Mart

Thomas Paine Day (Thetford)

Corby Pole Fair

Tin Can Band (Broughton)

Alnwick Ball Game

Baal Fire (Whalton)

Blessing the Salmon Nets (Norham)

Dunting the Freeholder (Newbiggin-by-the-Sea)

Newcastle & District Beagles

Salmon Queen (Tweedmouth)

Tar Barrel Parade (Allendale)

Cradle Rocking (Blidworth)

Goose Fair (Nottingham)

Jury Day & Court Leet (Laxton)

Maypole (Wellow)

Royal Maundy Service (Southwell Minster)

Boy Ploughmen (St Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldsay)

Bounds Beating (Oxford)

St Giles Fair (Oxford)

Garland Day (Charlton on Otmoor)

Magdalen Sermon

May Garland (Bampton)

May Morning (Oxford)

Morris Dancing

Morris Dancing (Headington Quarry)

Morris Dancing (Abingdon)

Morris Dancing (Bampton)

Morris Dancing (Oxford)

Mumming Play (Bampton)

Mumming Play (Headington Quarry)

Wassail Song

Yarnton Meadow Mowing Rights

Coracle Racing (Cilgerran)

Wedding Arch

Sma’ Shot Day (Paisley)

Wallace Day (Elderslie)

Blanket Preaching (St Mary’s Loch, Borders)

Jethart Ba' Street Football (Jedburgh)

Up-Helly-Aa (Lerwick)

Arbor Day (Aston on Clun)

Shropshire Bedlams / Border Morris (Aston on Clun)

Ashen Faggot (Curry Rivel)

Bridgwater Carnival / Squibbing

Burning the Ashen Faggot (Dunster)

Candle Auction (Chedzoy)

Glastonbury Thorn

Hobby Horse (Minehead)

Priddy Sheep Fair

Punky Night (Hinton St George)

Wassailing (Carhampton)

Uttoxeter Guizers

Horn Dance (Abbotts Bromley)

St Georges Court (Lichfield)

Sheriff’s Ride (Lichfield)

Highland Games (Bridge of Allan)

Highland Games (Callander)

Highland Games (Stirling)

Carlow's Charity (Woodbridge)

Dicing for the Maid's Money (Guildford)

Blessing The Sea (Hastings)

Bonfire Night (Lewes)

Bonfire Night (Rye)

Burning the Clocks (Brighton)

Easter Bonnets (Eastbourne)

Jack in the Green Festival (Hastings)

Hot Pennies (Rye)

Apple Howling (West Grinstead)

Blessing the Boats (Shoreham)

Carpet of Flowers / Corpus Christi (Arundel)

Ebernoe Horn Fair

Topping Out Ceremony (South Harting)

World Marbles Championship (Tinsley Green)

High Spen Rapper Sword Dancers

Atherstone Ball Game

Wroth Silver (Knighlow Cross)

Woodmen Of Arden (Meriden)

Handsworth Carnival (Birmingham)

Duck Feast (Charlton St Peter)

Grovely Day / Oak Apple Day (Great Wishford)

May Day (Ansty)

Salisbury Giant / Hob Nob

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

Kiplingcotes Derby (nr Market Weighton)

Sword Dancing (Flamborough)

Blessing the Crib (Ripon Cathedral)

Bounds Riding (Richmond)

Gooseberry Contest (Egton Bridge)

Horn Blower (Ripon)

Hubberholme Parliament

Maypole Dancing (Slingsby)

‘Owd Bartle’ (West Witton)

Penny Hedge (Whitby)

Plough Stots (Goathland)

Poor Old Horse (Richmond)

St Wilfred’s Day (Ripon)

Shrovetide Skipping (Scarborough)

Sword Play (Ripon)

Carol Singing (Dungworth)

Carol Singing (Worrall)

Sword Dance (Handsworth)

Sword Dance (Grenoside)

Christmas Crib

Denby Dale Pie

Devil's Knell (Dewsbury)

Mumming Play ; Bradshaw Mummers

Pace Egg Play (Midgley)

Pace Egg Play (Brighouse)

Raising the Maypole (Barwick-in-Elmet)

Rush Bearing (Saddleworth)

Rushcart (Sowerby Bridge)

Ring O' Belles (Wakefield)

Bonfire Night / Guy Fawkes


Christingle services

Corn dollies


Fortune tellers

Green Men


Hallowe’en (Apple Bobbing)

Hallowe’en (Pumpkins)

Morris Dancing

Mumming Plays

Punch & Judy

Remembrance Sunday / Armistice Day

Weddings / Marriage customs


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