The Survival of Traditional Sports & Festivals in Britain. What do you think of?


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The Survival of Traditional Sports & Festivals in Britain.


What do you think of?

  • Morris dancers?

  • Toe wrestlers?

  • Pancake racers?

  • Wife carriers?

    • What about hanging up mistletoe?
    • Going to a Halloween party?
    • Eating hot crossed buns at Easter?


The British Isles are rich in surviving festivals &customs.

  • Many are linked to the seasons & the rhythm of country life.

  • Many are medieval or pagan(religious) In origin, as the country itself came from tribal societies.

  • They did, however draw criticism and attack for reasons such as…

    • The reformation (which took power from the church to the crown)
    • The second world war, followed by modern technology improving.
    • Concern over danger to participants.


Activities such as;



Some other examples…

  • Cheese Rolling- done on Coopers Hill in Gloucester- it happens every spring bank holiday and is now a major attraction for spectators and the media. The cheese rolls at around 70mph!

  • Clip...



Robert Dovers’ Cotswold Olympics

  • A multi-sport occasion established during the reign of James 1 in 1605 & was annual until hooligan behaviour disrupted it.

  • The events included throwing the sledgehammer, sword fighting and wrestling.

  • Revived in 1963 it still continues today… including shin kicking!



The Characteristics of surviving ethnic sports & why they survive…

  • Local

  • Traditional – celebrates the past

  • Social – very imp soc occasion

  • Ritualistic – frequent, evidence of medieval ritual in costume etc.



Characteristics (cont)

  • Relatively isolated – the inaccessibility of some rural areas allows local customs to prevail.

  • Rowdy – traditionally these occasions were associated with drink, singing & celebrations of lower class people- the pub is usually the focal point or the birthplace of some of the games.



Group Project…

  • In small groups complete a short detailed presentation on one ethnic festival that still exists today. 4 sides maximum that can be used by other members of the class for reference purposes.

  • Consider the use of PowerPoint to assist you/ worksheet etc.



To help you…

  • Haxey hood game

  • Highland games

  • Lakeland games

  • Obby Oss festival Padstow

  • Doggett coat & badge

  • Hallaton Bottle kicking & hare pie scramble

  • The Corff Castle game



To help you…

  • www.chipping campden.co.uk./doversflyer.htm

  • www.albagames.co.uk

  • www.derbyshireuk.net/dcustom4.html

  • http://englishculture.allinfoabout.com/features/shrove3.html

  • www.visitbritain.com/uk/outdoorbritain/very_british_activities/cheese_rolling.htm




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