Archive for the 'August' Category

Saddleworth Longwood Thump Rushcart Festival 2011

I’ve always thought there was something a bit naff about the English Morris Dancing, all that hanky waving never really did it for me. Maybe its because I am English and I seem to think every other country’s culture is more interesting (and a bit cooler). Anyway, I have to say after going to the Saddleworth Longwood Thump Rushcart Festival in August this year, my mind did a complete about turn.

The event is a revival of an quaint old English tradition hosted by the Saddleworth Morris Men. Morris teams from all over the country come to show off their Morris skills and wave a few sticks, bells (and of course hankies!) in the folk world’s equivalent of a dance off.

Saddleworth Longwood Thump Rushcart Festival 2011 - The CoconuttersThe Saddleworth Morris Men were the stars as far as I was concerned. Their fabulous hats, absolutely encrusted with fresh flowers made them stand out from the crowd as they danced and whirled with their bells jangling and their clogs clacking and their faces smiling and laughing. You couldn’t fail but to have a smile on your face too! The cute and quirky Coconutters with their black faces, little red and white stripey skirts and flowery hoops were also highly entertaining.

The highlight of the festival, however, is the Rushcart parade through the streets and round the pubs of Uppermill and Saddleworth in Yorkshire. The thirteen feet high cart with a Morris man perched precariously on top, is hauled on poles in a lively procession accompanied by music and dancing. On the Sunday, the Rushcart is taken to St. Chad’s Church in Uppermill, where it is dismantled and the rushes are mixed with herbs and flowers and spread in the aisles.

The origins of the Rushcart are not entirely known, but the tradition almost certainly dates back to pre-Christian times, with the Church hijacking it at some point for their own purposes; the bringing in of rushes to spread on their old trodden earth or clay floors as a form of flooring for the Winter.

Find out more about the Saddleworth Longwood Thump Rushcart Festival. You can find out where else to see the Saddleworth Morris Men on their Official website. Look out for the Coconutters too on the Coconutters Official website.


Summer fiesta time!

Fiestas,vino,chupinazo y SanferminesSunny summer days are definitely the best time for a good fiesta! And the Spanish certainly know how to party!

Dance yourself to dizzy heights in Anguiano at the Stilt Dance, celebrate life in Las Nieves at the Festival of Near Death Experience, or get messy throwing tomatoes, grapes or even wine! at La Tomatina, La Raima orBatalla del Vino.

Alternatively, you could just stay at home, invite a few friends and and get fruity with our zingy Sangria! Get out your castanets (you know you have some somewhere!), put on some Spanish flamenco and you could almost be there!

More Spanish fiestas

August 24th, October 5th & November 8th: Mania

Roman passagewayThese festivals were held  in honour of Mania, goddess of Death and to appease the Manes (the spirits of the dead). It was believed that on these days the passageway to the underworld was open and the spirits of the dead were free to roam the earth.

Continue reading full post on Mania

August / September: Ganesh Chaturthi

Avert your eyes from the moon! Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.  The festival lasts for 10 days during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September).

Read more about Ganesh Chaturthi on

Various dates in August and September: Teej

Hindu WomanWomen all over India celebrate Teej with great enthusiasm, dressing in their best saris and honouring the other women of the family and their husbands. There are many special rituals and customs that hold great importance for the women of India associated with the three Teej celebrations held annually during August and September.

Read full post on Teej

May to September: Highland Games

Highland warriorFrom feats of strength such as throwing the hammer, tossing the cabre and tug-o-war to the more gentile events such as bagpipe playing and highland fling dancing, its all part of Scotland’s rich heritage and tradition.

Read full post on the Scottish Highland games

Varying dates in August / September: Janamashtami festival

 sahri krishan janamashtami The Janamashtami festival marks the birth of Krishna, one of the most popular Gods in the Hindu religion. Legend has it that  he was born at midnight on a dark, stormy night in a jail, to end the rule and atrocities of his uncle Kansa.

Read full post on Janamashtami


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