P h o t o B l o g

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Whit Walks

"W" is for "Whit Walks" and today's photos show scene's from Ashton's Whit Walks, which took place on Sunday afternoon.

Members of churches from different parts of Ashton process to the town centre, each accompanied by a band. The churches assemble for a united service of witness. Then all the churches walk together around the town centre before splitting and and returning to their starting points.

Other townsfolk turn out to watch the walk and listen to the bands. It is not at all a solemn religious procession - it is a very jolly affair, with the bands playing bright marches and people waving and calling out to other people they know.

In the past, when money was even more scarce than it is now, Whitsun may have been the only time in the year when people got to wear new clothes. This custom actually did have a religious origin, as Whitsun celebrates the time when the Apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, went out and recruited the first Christians. The new clothes are symbolic of starting a new life.

This year, for a change, Ashton's Whit Walks once again took place on the traditional date of the Sunday after Whit Sunday - but only because that coincided this year with the third Sunday of June, which is now the fixed date for the walks. Nearby Mossley and Saddleworth still have their Whit Walks on the traditional Whit Friday, as reported here yesterday.

Above: Walkers from St Gabriel's Church, Cockbrook. Below: Dobcross Band

(Click photos for larger versions. Press Back button to return here.)

See Bird's Eye View of this location.

"Whit Walks" is a contribution to ABC Wednesday. For more "W" posts from around the world please follow this link.
Please leave a comment below.


  1. sounds like a fine tradition.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. I've not seen a Whit walk for some years now - I must make the effort to go a see one next year..

  3. That looks like a lot of fun. I don't remember them from when I grew up in the UK.
    Jane x

  4. Beautiful bright colours and happy people!
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  5. I had heard of this tradition but didn't know anything about it. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  6. We used to do this in Liverpool when we had a church with the City Mission. I wonder why they felt the need to fix the date. Whit Sunday is a always calculated the same way and if it's churches participating and is a religious event it shouldn't affect other people.

  7. Lovely!

    Would love you to peek at my ABC. You are welcome to come by anytime, have a nice day!


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