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British Life & Culture
Unusual British Customs & Traditions
by Mandy Barrow

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Strange, bizarre, wacky, eccentric and even mad festivals still taking place in Britain today

Calendar of unusual Customs and Traditions
in England, Scotland and Wales
image: Unusual Calendar

A long time ago the year was marked out with special days which marked the passing year. These were days of celebrations where people would do things, eat things or make things which they would not normally do.

See also folk, facts and sayings about July

Whitstable Oyster Festival and Blessing of the Waters

Whitstable, Kent.
Held over the period which includes St James Day (25th July) - St James being the Patron Saint of Oysters and Oyster Fisheries.
More information

Swan Upping (last Monday) River Thames

The Dyers and Vintner's Companies have the right, established in medieval times, to keep swans on the Thames River. Every year the Queen's Swan Keeper and Swan Markers from the two livery companies row in skiffs along the river to mark the cygnets (baby swans).

swanuppingswan upping


Find out more about Swan Upping

World Toe-Wrestling Championships

Held at the Bentley Bridge Inn in Derbyshire every July

Well-Dressing Derbyshire May - September

Well dressing is one of Derbyshire's and the Peak District's best known, most popular and colourful customs. It dates back hundreds of years, and though there have been religious associations, the true origins remain unknown.
Click here to find out more

Well dressing

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.