Sweeps Festival 2015 (Bank Holiday Monday)

WP_20150504_14_49_43_Pro

Today was the final day of the Sweeps Festival, which I mainly spent with my family. The highlight for me was the parade through Rochester High Street, a tradition that’s always been a central part of the festival. Fortunately we got a really good spot for viewing the parade this year – not too crowded, and many of the dancers stopped to perform a while by us.

The parade began with a dance of the eponymous chimney sweeps…

WP_20150504_14_50_32_Pro

The chimney sweeps led Jack-In-The-Green, who rushed up to members of the audience just as an omikoshi would in a Japanese festival. (He rushed up to me too, dressed as I was as the Green Man, and I gave him a hug!)

WP_20150504_14_51_04_Pro

We then had some belly dancers…

WP_20150504_14_51_45_Pro

…and a hobby horse…

WP_20150504_14_53_34_Pro

There was some Costwold Morris….

WP_20150504_14_54_14_Pro

…and Rapper Sword dancing…

WP_20150504_14_54_51_Pro

…and faeries…

WP_20150504_14_55_02_Pro

… and some Morris Dancers using steel pipes (hardcore!)

WP_20150504_14_55_29_Pro

…There were the white-clad Screaming Banshees Morris…

WP_20150504_14_58_33_Pro

…some black-clad piratey Morris…

WP_20150504_14_58_58_Pro

… and my favourites, the Gothic Wolf’s Head and Vixen Morris….


WP_20150504_14_59_23_Pro

…One of my favourite parts was the last part, in which a group of witches cleansed and blessed the High Street. This was undoubtedly a reaction to last year’s cancellation of the Pagan blessing, so I’m really glad they managed to come on the procession and perform their blessing then!

WP_20150504_15_00_03_Pro

It was a fantastic 3 days and I’m rather sad it’s all over!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Places, Rituals & Festivals

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s