Sweeps Festival 2015 (Bank Holiday Monday)


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…


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!)


We then had some belly dancers…


…and a hobby horse…


There was some Costwold Morris….


…and Rapper Sword dancing…


…and faeries…


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


…There were the white-clad Screaming Banshees Morris…


…some black-clad piratey Morris…


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


…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!


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


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Filed under Places, Rituals & Festivals

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