Monday, 2 May 2016

Sweeps Festival Rochester


We chanced upon this fantastic day of English eccentricity when we visited Rochester, in Kent, on Saturday. We were staying with our good friends not too far away and none of us knew in advance that this event was happening. 
 It is one of the oldest traditional annual festivals in this country and is held around the city centre. There were lots of events and live music plus an artisan fair. 



















 Besides the many sweeps, there were more than 60 Morris sides from all over the country and the atmosphere was so vibrant and happy. It was wonderful to see our traditions come to life this way.
So sorry I cannot name the Morris sides except for this one with the Phoenix on their backs.

The young people in this side were so agile
The joy shines out!
There were pirates galore

Steampunk characters



Even a "wind up" fairy


The Jolly tar was being applauded for his rendition of a rousing tavern song.
Drummers young and old
Creatures great and small



Perhaps the oldest "baby" I've ever seen....



A rainbow of colours


I would love to go next year to see the Sweeps Parade and hear more of the music on the stages and in the pubs. It was such a good day out especially as we only went to Rochester to shop.

12 comments:

Glennis said...

Looks like a fabulous day out - what fun!

Helen said...

what a lucky find - it looks amazing, and what a beautiful day it was too.

Annie said...

Brilliant pics Jo.
Hugs,
Annie x

tilly said...

how lucky to stumble on this fab day, it looks teriffic and vibrant, worthy of a Friday smile lol
Tilly xx

Lee said...

Hi Jo,Oh WOW,what Fantastic pics,very interesting and happy post.Thanks for sharing this.Hope you are all ok.xxx

CarlavdM said...

Wonderfull photo's, Jo.
Never heard of this tradition, but it looks like a lot of fun to attend.

pearshapedcrafting said...

This looks brilliant Jo! What a wonderful event - so glad you shared your photos here! Hugs, Chrisx

mammafairy said...

fantastic! So good to see so many young folks Morris dancing,

Glad you had such a lovely day.

Twiglet said...

Fab photos Jo - what a great day out - so uplifting and joyful! x Jo

Neet said...

How lucky you were to happen upon this event. And the weather seems wonderful too. Plus Rochester is one of y favourite places - I love it.
Glad you had a super time - love the many photos. Going back for another look.
Hugs, Neet xx

Lynne said...

Hi Jo - great post and photos! I don;t see anyone I recognise individually but I do recognise several of the Morris sides, and I know many of my friends were there. I'm thrilled to bits this traditional event is getting a bit more recognition - we are TERRIBLE in this country for allowing the media to portray England as a traditional cultural dessert! And if they do feature Morris it is the same old blokes waving hankies (and nothing the matter with Cotswold Sides!) when they should be showing the younger, vibrant sides who are really keeping the tradition alive.! Thanks for posting this! Lxxx

Carola Bartz said...

This looks like a very fun event! I would have enjoyed that very much and probably have taken way too many photos. They joy is seen on the faces of the people. No wonder you had a good time!!