Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Britain's weirdest festivals

Being of British extraction, I've long been a fan of British humor and the daftness that appears unique to the inhabitants of the British Isles - who, according to a well-known saying, are made up of:

  • The Welsh, who pray on their knees and their neighbors;
  • The Scots, who keep the Sabbath and anything else they can lay their hands on;
  • The (Northern) Irish, who don't know what they want but are willing to die for it;  and -
  • The English, who consider themselves to be a race of self-made men, thereby relieving the Almighty of a dreadful responsibility.


Be that as it may, there are a large number of weirdly wonderful and delightfully daft celebrations and festivals in the British Isles.  The Telegraph has just published a photo essay of some of the more interesting among them.  Here are a few to whet your appetite (captions below the pictures are from the Telegraph).

Dwile flonking in Lewes, Sussex: This pub game, where a soggy dishcloth is lobbed at a ring of players, traditionally takes place outside a tavern. It is a social highlight at the Lewes Arms in Sussex, where matches between pub regulars and the Lewes Operatic Society date back to the middle of last century. The dishcloth is fished from a bucket of stale beer with a stick, and then flung at someone in the circle. The doused person then takes his or her revenge as the thrower.

Worm charming in Blackawton, Devon: Fancy dress is encouraged at the International Festival of Worm Charming, where, in between maypole and morris dancing, participants scrabble around in a "secret" field, trying to invoke the ancient art. Be warned though – any liquid poured on the ground must also be drunk to prove it won't harm the worms. Cider usually proves popular. (

Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race, Brawby, North Yorkshire: Competitors coat their yorkshire pudding boats (yes, they are the real thing made of flour and water) with yacht varnish to make them waterproof long enough for the race across the waters of Bob's Pond in the village of Brawby. (

There are many more events at the link.  I think we should import a few!  (I want to see Ambulance Driver in a yorkshire pudding boat, trying to paddle it across the swimming hole near our Blogorado secret location!)


1 comment:

BobF said...

I"ve been stationed with Brits a few times over the years. It is only now that I begin to understand maybe why they were so cheerful and happy to be away from home.

And I hereby pledge $5 toward the constuction cost of a pudding yacht for AD!