1st August is a day dedicated to celebrating God’s Own Country, that’s right – the beautiful area of Yorkshire. Having lived in Yorkshire for a few years now, I know that the idyllic countryside, characterful towns and wonderful communities deserve to be celebrated with pride, so this day is well deserved.
Established in 1975, Yorkshire Day is a relatively recent event but it has quickly evolved and continues to get bigger each year. It was created by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, as a protest movement against the 1974 local government reorganisation. The date is also the anniversary to the Battle of Minden, as well as the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire MP, campaigned for.
This day is celebrated all over Yorkshire but there is a civic event that has been hosted by the Yorkshire Society since 1985 which formally marks the occasion and provides a centrepiece for the many thousands of private and public events that take place. This event changes host-town every year and this year it will take place in York, the beautiful historic city founded by the ancient Romans, which also hosted the very first of these events.
The traditions of the civic event centers around the gathering of Mayors, Lord Mayors, their attendants and other dignitaries in ‘full costume and regalia’ and the handing over of the Yorkshire Day flag from council to council on the day, with each council adding its coat of arms to the flag to record their year. The event has also expanded to a community event and encourages the participation of the local community to make them more involved in the day. As well as this, venues across the host town/ city join in with special events, offers and experiences, providing an opportunity to boost the local economy, capture the attention of the country and bolster community spirit.
This will definitely be bringing the community together but don’t worry if you’re not near the York area on this day, as every area in Yorkshire celebrates the day in different ways. Keep your eye out for local events such as picnics, carnivals and sales or you could visit any number of the museums, galleries, historic sites and national parks scattered across the county.
Besides this, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the day by yourself or with family, such as making a Yorkshire roast, going on a walk in the stunning Yorkshire countryside, taking a trip to one of the beaches around Yorkshire or baking a traditional Yorkshire Parkin gingerbread cake. You’re never short of things to do in Yorkshire, but this day just makes it a little extra special, with everyone coming together in the name of regional pride.
As well as all these wonderful things, without Yorkshire we wouldn’t have stainless steel, The Bronte Sisters, motion pictures, Wensleydale cheese, Judi Dench, Pudsey Bear, the first ever football club (Sheffield FC), and most importantly, Yorkshire Puddings! It is a county that has given much to the world and continues to be a welcoming and vibrant place, full of friendly and welcoming people. So take this opportunity to celebrate with fellow Yorkshire-folk, appreciate the beautiful county, not only on 1st August, but all year round.
Chloe is a content creator with a passion for writing, photography, graphic design and making music. She loves experimenting with creative media and has a desire to work in the music and media industries in the future.