Festivals, with both ritual and festivity, are present in cultures all over the world. They mark the change of seasons and important milestones in life such as birth, coming of age, marriage and death. They may also be in honour of a person or an event, which had an impact on the life of that culture.
Winter is approaching, and those long and dark nights make us feel like staying at home. But festivals at his time of year provide colour and warmth, and the opportunity to go out and meet other people.
Guy Fawkes Night has passed with a literal bang, and illuminated the clear skies all around Keele. I personally find it strange that the discovery of a plot against the government centuries ago has become institutionalised as a cause for celebration.
Perhaps there are other festivals with stranger origins. Many festivals have been celebrated for so long that people have forgotten why.
It would be interesting to hear your stories about other festivals with unusual origins…