Ten unusual British traditions

1. Morris Dance. Morris dance is one of the types of English folk dance, which is accompanied by specific music. When the Morris dance is performed in small groups of one or two men, it is performed over a pair of clay smoke pipes laid crosswise on the floor. The choreography of this dance is built on rhythmic steps, made by a group of dancers. More often, props, such as handkerchiefs, sticks and swords, were used before, although the latter are already found only in demonstration performances. The etymology of the term "Morris" comes from "Moresca" - the Spanish dance, which originally was also performed with sabers.

2. Baiting worms. In the village of Willaston, near Nantwich (Cheshire), since 1980, baiting worms competitions have been held. Each participant is given a section of 3 by 3 meters. The competition has rules, as many as 18. But the main thing is the ban on using stimulants to lure worms (water is also included in their number).

3. Straw Bear Day. It is also called the "Day of Straw". This day is celebrated annually on January 7 in the Fenland region between Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire. Men and boys put on straw suits and go door-to-door, making dance performances. For this they are given money, food or beer. This day is considered the beginning of the agricultural year in England.

4. Scuba diving in the swamp. Participants wear flippers, a pipe and glasses, plunge into a trench filled with mud, where they chase each other. This event attracts a lot of spectators from all over the world, and its purpose is to collect money for charity.

5. Royal horse racing. Royal races are held annually in the British town of Ascot, Berkshire County, and were founded in the 18th century by Queen Anne. Usually royal races are associated with elegant ladies in hats and gentlemen in tailcoats, however, this dress code is fulfilled only in the royal sector, guests in other sectors dress and behave more frivolously.

6. Night of Guy Fawkes. It is also called "The Night of Fires" or "The Night of Fireworks". On this night, people in the UK are lighting fires to burn the effigy of Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes himself is an English nobleman who lived in the 16th century, one of the participants of the Gunpowder Plot to overthrow King James I in 1602. It was him who was commissioned to light a wick leading to a powder-filled room under the House of Lords in London. This was the reason that the night was named in his honor.

7. Pearly Kings and Queens. The harvest festival of Pearly Kings and Queens of street vendors is an autumn holiday dedicated to harvesting and successful trade. Its participants wear clothes embroidered in pearls. The practice of wearing clothes decorated with pearl buttons, was born in the 19th century, and in 1911 a pearl society was organized in the north of London. Despite the plainness of the material, the costumes of the participants are richly decorated, the weight of each outfit can reach 30 kg. Pearly Kings and Queens sing songs, play on guitars and in every possible way have fun during the festival of harvest.

8. Maypole Dance. The Maypole dances are a kind of folk dance that came from Germany, England and Sweden. There are two forms of this dance. The first consists of dancers who perform circular dances around the high, garlanded pillar. Such pillar is usually called the "May Tree". In the second version of this dance, the dancers move around in a circle, each holding a colored ribbon attached to a much smaller pillar. Moving around the pillar, the dancers twist their ribbons either into the net around the pillar, or wrap around the pole. To untangle the ribbons, the dancers repeat the same steps back.

9. Cheese rolling on Cooper Hill. "The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake" is an annual event held during the holidays in Cotswolds. Twenty participants are chase a piece of cheese rolling off the surface of the hill. Usually such event ends for participants of the race with injuries of varying severity, as the descent is steep and uneven. Traditionally, the festival was held for the residents of the local village, but now anyone from all corners of the earth can take part in it.

10. Squirming. Egremont Crab Fair – a fair of sour apples and "sour" faces. Participants of this unusual event compete in who squirms the most unusual and grotesque will look, as if they ate sour apples.

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