Published on August 1st, 2014 | by Sally Wenham
Happy Yorkshire Day!
Most of you may not know, however if you’re from Yorkshire you certainly will, that today is Yorkshire Day. Being a ‘Yorkshire Lass’ myself, I thought I would give you an insight into this annual celebratory event.
Recently in particular, it’s been a wonderful time to be able to call Yorkshire home. Last month the county showcased much of its stunning scenery to a wider audience like never before as thousands of people descended to experience the Grand Départ of the Tour De France. Millions more would have seen the beautiful Yorkshire countryside for the first time on TV as 219 riders set off in pursuit of the yellow jersey.
Two stages of the Tour de France were held over two consecutive days, the first stage running from Leeds to Harrogate and the next starting in York and ending in Sheffield. This prestigious cycling event has boosted the Yorkshire economy by an estimated £100 million!
Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK and is symbolized by the white rose, a symbol which will adorn the county today in particular. As you have probably guessed, Yorkshiremen and women are ineffably proud of being from the White Rose County and for good reason too! (Ok, maybe I am a bit biased).
It was first celebrated in 1975 by the Yorkshire Ridings Society in Beverley. It was created to celebrate the proud heritage of the county. The date recognises the Battle of Minden which was held in 1759 when the Regiments soldiers adorned their headdress with a white rose prior to engaging in combat.
The date also alludes to Emancipation Day. On August 1st 1834 the slavery of people from an African origin was abolished in the British Territories. This motion was fought for by William Wilberforce who was a Yorkshireman.
The region is centered around the county town of York and was originally split into ‘Thrydings’ or Ridings as they are more commonly known. These are North, East and West; however South Yorkshire is now regarded as separate although still encompassed by the West Riding.
Across the county, towns and villages hold gala’s, fairs and other events to celebrate Yorkshire Day. A tradition is to recite the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity, which affirms it’s foundation in 875AD by the Vikings (known as Jorvik).
Here is the declaration:
“I, (name), being a resident of the [West/North/East] Riding of Yorkshire [or City of York] declare:
That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of 1139 years standing;
That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire;
That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women;
That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.
These declarations made this Yorkshire Day [year]. God Save the Queen!”
Personally, I’ll be drinking Yorkshire Tea, eating Yorkshire Puddings, wearing a flat cap and singing ‘On Ilkley Moor Baht Tat’.
Happy Yorkshire Day!