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.


Ponteland 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

Apple Howling 3rd Jan
The proceedings begin at 6pm with a torchlight procession, followed by a noisy racket created by the crowd. Bolney, West Sussex

The Icicle Balloon Meet 3rd-4th Jan
Informal hot air balloon meeting – with on average around 100 balloonists. Marlborough, Wilts

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

Land Letting auction at Hubberhome Parliament 5th 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

Bodmin Wassail 6th 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

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

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 9th-11th Jan
A parade around the local villages by a man dressed as a straw bear. Whittlesea, Cambs.

Coleby Plough Jag 10th Jan
Annual Plough/Mummers Play performed in the town centre with traditional fool and characters. Gainsborough, Lincs

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

Blessing of the Sea 11th Jan
50 year old tradition by local churches to ensure the success of the year’s fishing fleet. Margate, Kent

Northwold Plough Monday 12th Jan
A procession from the ‘Crown’ to the church where the plough is blessed and the sacred meshes with the secular with morris dancing and a mummers play. Northwold, Norfolk

Shave Cross Inn Ash Faggot 16th Jan
Recent revivial of an old tradition to drink a toast as the winter wood breaks in the pub fire. Bridport, Dorset

Day Of Dance 17th Jan
The Goathland Plough Stots is one of Yorkshires traditional long sword teams, if not the oldest still dancing their own dance as performed as far back as the early 19th century. Goathland, Yorkshire

Holly Holy Day 24th 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

Up Helly Aa 27th Jan
This northern Mardi Gras included a flaming procession and parade with torches. Shetland



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