My regular look ahead to events happening next month that would probably be in my events guide, if only they weren’t happening outside the psychological barrier of the M25 motorway.


New Year’s Morning Wheelbarrow Race 1st Jan
Two man teams race in wheelbarrows around the town in the morning in a tradition thought to date back to the 14th century. Ponteland, Northumberland

Lanark Het Pint 1st Jan
350 year old tradition as local pensioners are allocated a glass of mulled wine and a one pound note, courtesy of the Royal Burgh Community Council Lanark, South Lanarkshire

New Year’s Day Bath Race 1st Jan
The Pirates of Poole take to the water in a variety of unusual craft for the annual New Year’s Day Bath Race. Poole, Dorset

The Mari Llwyd 1st Jan
The ancient tradition sees a horses skull draped in a white shroud and paraded through the town. Llangynwyd, Glamorgan

Mapleton Bridge Jump 1st Jan
Competitors start with a 700-metre boat race and then take the 30ft plunge off Mapleton Bridge into the River Dove. Mapleton, Derbyshire

The Icicle Balloon Meet 4th-5th Jan
Informal hot air balloon meeting – with on average around 100 balloonists. Marlborough, Wilts

Bodmin Wassail 5th Jan
Dressed in top hats, dickie bows, waistcoats and tails Bodmin’s wassailers visit homes, public houses and shops on the 12th day of Christmas. Bodmin, Cornwall

Wassail and Ashen Faggot 5th Jan
Burning the Ashen Faggot on Old Christmas Eve, is one traditional custom which has not died out thanks to the Curry Rivel Wassailers. The ceremony is practised to ensure good health and good harvest. Curry Rivel, Somerset

Apple Howling 5th Jan
The proceedings begin at 6pm with a torchlight procession, followed by a noisy racket created by the crowd. Bolney, West Sussex

Twelfth Night Wassail 6th Jan
Traditional parade through the town centre by the local Morris Dancers after the crowning of the Lord of Misrule Guildford, Surrey

Land Letting auction at Hubberhome Parliament 6th Jan
Ancient annual auction of "poor pasture" owned by the Church held in the pub which doubled up as the vicar’s meeting place — the timing of the auction is based on a candle burning down. Hubberholme, North Yorks

The Haxey Hood 6th Jan
Every year, villagers in Westwoodside and Haxey dress up to compete for possession of ‘the Hood’. This 700-year tradition started when Lady de Mowbray was out riding and a sudden gust of wind blew her hat off. Haxey, Nth Lincolnshire

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival 10th-12th Jan
A parade around the local villages by a man dressed as a straw bear. Whittlesea, Cambs.

The Burning of the Clavie 11th Jan
10 men will take turns to parade the burning clavie (a burning barrel) around the town in the evening. Burghead, Scotland

Coleby Plough Jag 11th Jan
Annual Plough/Mummers Play performed in the town centre with traditional fool and characters. Gainsborough, Lincs

Plough Tour 11th Jan
Ancient local custom of Plough Bullocks parading their decorated plough through the Leicestershire villages accompanied by Molly Dancers. Sharnford, Leicestershire

Blessing of the Sea 12th Jan
Nearly a 50 year old tradition by local churches to ensure the success of the year’s fishing fleet. Margate, Kent

Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb 21st-23rd Jan
The festival celebrates the traditional links with rhubarb growing in Wakefield, while offering the finest and tastiest regional produce and showcasing the most talented local chefs. Wakefield, Yorkshire

Holly Holy Day 25th Jan
For over 40 years the faithful troops of The Sealed Knot have gathered in the historic town of Nantwich, Cheshire to re-enact the bloody battle that took place almost 400 years ago and marked the end of the long and painful siege of the town. Nantwich, Cheshire

Katharine of Aragon Festival: Service of Commemoration 31st Jan
This annual Commemorative Service features music by Tudor musicians Hautbois. The event will be attended by city dignitaries and local school children. Peterborough, Cambs.



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One comment
  1. Tim says:

    A correction on the 6th Jan 12th Night Wassail in Guildford you listed. It is a Mummers Play, not a Wassail, and there isn’t a parade. The play is performed in 5 of the town centre’s oldest pubs by Pilgrim Morris Men. Hope this helps.

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