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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Whit Walks


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"W" is for "Whit Walks" and today's photo shows a scene from Sunday's What Walk in Ashton. Another photo of the Walks was shown here on Sunday.

The period around Whit Sunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter, is known as Whitsuntide. One of the traditions in the area around Manchester is the practice of "Whit Walks".

Historically, Ashton's Walks were originally on Whit Friday, the Friday after Whit Sunday, but then moved to the following Sunday (Trinity Sunday). In recent years the event has moved to the fixed time of the third Sunday of June.

Most of the churches in Ashton take part in the Whit Walks. A Procession from each church, accompanied by a band, makes its way to the centre of Ashton, where a united service is held.

The church groups then process along a route around the town centre before walking back to their own starting points.

One of the traditions of the Whit Walks is for those taking part to wear new clothes for the occasion. In harder times this was something to look forward to as children would rarely get new clothes, more often receiving handed-down clothes from older siblings or relations.

The origin of wearing new clothes would seem to be based in the practice at one time of newly baptised members being received into the church at Whitsun (being a celebration of the birth of the Christian Church at Pentecost). The new clothes, often white, were symbolic of a new start.

Another custom, still in practice, is for people watching the walk from the pavement to look out for people they know taking part in the walk and to run forward and give them money.

Today's photo shows the walkers from Christ Church making their way along Stamford Street. For anyone who is interested, more photos of Sunday's event can be seen here:
Small photos - large photos.

"Whit Walks" is a contribution to ABC Wednesday. For more "V" posts from around the world please follow this link.

6 comments:

  1. our Pentacost tradition involves wearing red; interesting.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

    ReplyDelete
  2. So very interesting! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very interesting to learn the traditions and customs of different places. This is fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Seems like a great way to get to know your neighbors. A delightful tradition.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's something interesting to read (and to know)!
    Gattina from ABC Team

    ReplyDelete
  6. I used to 'walk' every Whit Friday with the methodists in Waterloo. The brass band would lead the procession with the Boys Brigade bugle band bringing up the rear. We would parade all around the village, stopping at the war memorial for hymn singing, then back to sunday school for tea and raspberry buns. I often wonder how my mother managed it with four children but we always had new clothes for Whit.and relatives would slip a penny or two in your pocket for your 'new clothes'.

    ReplyDelete

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