The celebration of Yorkshire Day is central to the belief and custom of maintaining a locale’s traditions and culture during a time of upheaval. A celebration started with just a reading, now encompasses anything to do with Yorkshire, from cooking and confectionery delights to history and military customs. A healthy percent of the population, namely most of them, celebrate this day in a way akin to many other celebrations; it started small and now has a minor culture behind the celebration of the Day.
History of Yorkshire Day
Yorkshire Day is a day to remember, and celebrate, the largest county in the UK, Yorkshire. Originating as a military holiday, it’s roots stem from more than a few things, including the emancipation of slaves in 1834, and a few military customs and some protests about losing Yorkshire’s cultural identity. The military custom involves light infantry originally as Minden Day, although later joined by five other regiments in this tradition.
The military permitted the regiments to wear a rose in their headdress; although the original Light Infantry use a white rose instead of the standard red rose. The emancipation anniversary is celebrated in the honor of William Wilberforce, whom successfully campaigned for the emancipation. The protests were regarding the identity of Yorkshire against the Local Government re-organization of 1974. Yet with such a long and diverse history of changes, Yorkshire has kept itself from changing, keeping it’s old world appeal and aesthetic as the Day has become more and more known world-wide.
How to celebrate Yorkshire Day
In order to ‘properly’ follow tradition, one must read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity. This is to declare the boundaries of which the County, and City, of Yorkshire, exist and prosper. The entire declaration is aimed towards solidifying the ties to one’s compatriots, to uphold tradition and not let any person or body change that. While in the City of York, the Declaration is made four times by the Yorkshire Ridings Society.
Spoken once within the actual City of York, and another in each of the three Ridings, or jurisdictions within Yorkshire. This is done by starting at the gatehouses within the City of York, and by moving along the ancient wall, they can use the old gatehouses to cross into the various jurisdictions, speak the Declaration and then move back within York to the next gatehouse. Finally, they would speak the Declaration within a gatehouse in York itself. This is actually done yearly by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, in observance with old tradition.