In typical English tradition, Whitsun has long been a day of feasting and merrymaking…
Churches were decorated with greenery and parishioners enjoyed church ales, and displays of Morris dancing. As Whitsuntide falls at the start of summer, there was a chance of better weather - Our ancestors would have had a wide range of outdoor events lined up, such as fairs, games, club walks and carnivals.
Of course, dancing around the Maypole has always been a significant part of these celebrations. During the 19th century this tradition began with the raising of the pole, which required a climber and was usually a local farm lad. The boy would ascend the pole to detach the hoisting ropes and then attempt to make his way to the very top of the pole to give the fox weather vane a customary spin… a superstition thought to bring good luck to the village!
Whitsun has long since been known as the Spring Bank Holiday, and although times have changed, the festivities and celebration of the beginning of summer still remain!
Today, the Spring Bank Holiday is a great opportunity to venture further afield, perhaps to a coastal destination and a visit to the seaside. On The Suffolk Coast, we take every opportunity to celebrate this holiday with an abundance of activities and events bursting onto the spring calendar…
Fancy burning off some energy and taking in the beautiful Suffolk countryside too? Here’s an opportunity to take part in the Suffolk Walking Festival 2016…
On Sunday 29th May the ‘Wild Adventure Under Suffolk Skies’ guides will be exploring the connection between music, nature, and landscape. Begin the walk from The White Horse at Saxmundham, 5pm - listen to the sounds of nature and their translation into music, and hear what composers had to say about their inspiration!
Those of you who are feeling particularly sporty should head to Thorpeness Country Club for the adult tennis tournament on Monday 30th May. You don’t have to be ‘Grand Slam’ material either, as the event is suitable for all levels of play. It’s a friendly game but, as with every sport, you can also expect a good measure of competiveness as well! Spectators could use the tournament as a great excuse to indulge in the first of the season’s strawberries too!
If that all sounds like hard work then perhaps you’d prefer to mosey on down to The Vintage Market at Snape Maltings. Enjoy browsing through vintage clothes, antique furniture, and many other treasures just waiting to be found. Afterwards, enjoy a browse around the rest of Snape Maltings and take some welcome refreshment at either Cafe 1885 or The Granary Tea Shop.
Now, you might not want the kids in tow for a Vintage Market, but they will love helping Reggie the Lion discover more about native nature at Africa Alive! Children of all ages are invited to get hands-on with the British wildlife activities right through from 28th May to 5th June.
So, Spring Bank Holiday on The Suffolk Coast – walking, music, sports, markets, wildlife or simply a great day with the family on the beach… We’ve got in covered!