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'Soundsuit' by Artist Nick Cave: African God, forest creature and the Boogie Man all rolled into one!

Fiesta de los rapaces de Baçal 8Bragança) Tras os Montes by carlos gonzález ximénez, via Flickr

Fiesta de los rapaces de Baçal Tras os Montes by carlos gonzález ximénez,

Whittlesea Straw Bear, Whittlesea, Cambrigeshire (traditional British folk figure). Photo by James Pearson-Howes

Photo by James Pearson-Howes - I 2017 er det straw bear day januar

Castleton Garland Day, 29th May, Simon Costin, Museum of British Folklore

Castleton Garland Day A May Day celebration where the "king" is paraded through the streets on a horse, (stopping at every pub obviously)

"The Hooden Horse" of Kent from The Hoodening Group of mummers. The Hoodening Group perform a new play in the first week of Advent, following a tradition begun in the 1750s. Photo by Tim Walker.

"The Hooden Horse" of Kent from Hoodening Group of mummers by Tim Walker.

MAY DAY (01 May) | Padstow: 'The Famous Padstow "Hobby Horse"', Padstow, Cornwall. ✫ღ⊰n

Padstow hobby horse: Each May Day in Padstow, Cornwall, a folk custom takes place where two separate processions make their way around the town, each containing someone dressed as a 'hobby horse' known as the 'Obby 'Oss.

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011. "The Hunting of the Earl of Rone" folk tradition. Each Spring Bank Holiday the Devon village of Combe Martin is consumed with the pursuit of a masked man wearing a necklace of sea biscuits. According to the legend, the prisoner is the second Earl of Tyrone, an Irish renegade who was shipwrecked in 1607 before being captured by grenadiers. In today's re-enactment he is shot at and drowned for our entertainment.

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011

Straw Bear Day    Many of our modern holidays are based on ancient pagan traditions. Thankfully, we’ve edited out a lot of the violence and human sacrifice parts. One that manages to persist to this day is the Straw Bear. Originally a German tradition, one of the most interesting places to see a Straw Bear is the British town of Whittlesea on Straw Bear Day

Originally a German tradition, one of the most interesting places to see a Straw Bear is the British town of Whittlesea on Straw Bear Day


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The Horn Dancers of Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire. The Horn Dance is the oldest dance in England. The horns are over 1000 years old and were brought by Vikings to England. Still danced every year in Abbots Bromley.

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, a type of Morris Dance. The Horn Dance takes place in Staffordshire, England on Wakes Monday which is after Wakes Sunday, the first Sunday after 4 September.

Knobbin, the Wild Oss of the Dorset Knobs Mummers

Great article here about the meaning of the animal skull masks/costumes and their traditions in British folk culture. Shows Knobbin, the Wild Oss of the Dorset Knobs Mummers.

Whittlesea Straw Bear, Whittlesea, Cambrigeshire (traditional British folk figure). Photo by James Pearson-Howes

Photo by James Pearson-Howes - I 2017 er det straw bear day januar

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011. Eastbourne based Hunters Moon dance the wilder, louder, more boisterous of the morris configurations of the Welsh Borders.  Their disguise recalls the tradition of "hiding" from the establishment.

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011

Ottana, Italy. - Explore the World with Travel Nerd Nici, one Country at a Time. http://TravelNerdNici.com

Mamuthones (Nuoro, Italian Sardinia) in traditional carnival costume used for pre-Christian rites to ancient gods of agriculture. The mask is carved in pieces of wild pear wood & darkened alder walnut.

Straw Bear Day    Many of our modern holidays are based on ancient pagan traditions. Thankfully, we’ve edited out a lot of the violence and human sacrifice parts. One that manages to persist to this day is the Straw Bear. Originally a German tradition, one of the most interesting places to see a Straw Bear is the British town of Whittlesea on Straw Bear Day

Originally a German tradition, one of the most interesting places to see a Straw Bear is the British town of Whittlesea on Straw Bear Day

Straw Bear

January - Straw Bear Festival Whittlesea, Cambridgeshire on Plough Tuesday

british folklore portraits project.

henry bourne, all photographs © henry bourne 2014

Abingdon Morris Dancers circa 1910

Abingdon Morris Dancers circa 1910 Donna, I miss your comments !

Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival 2009

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival is an English folk tradition. The Straw Bear comes out every year on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night.

Found by neha bhatia

Mamuthone of Mamoiada, Sardinia. The Mamuthones is a typical mask of the Carnival of Mamoiada in Sardinia. The Mamuthones proceed weary and silent, like slaves in chains in the procession.

Wilder Mann, by Charles Fréger, about pagan rituals.

Charles Fréger captures the spirit of what he calls “tribal Europe” in his “Wilder Mann” series A huge array of pagan rituals, mainly related to the winter solstice and spring renewal, focusing on the common myth of the “wild man".

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011. Pictured is the Red Leicester Morris Man.  It is nearly 32 years, since Paul Whiting, looking for an alternative to rugby, alighted on the Red Leicester side. "Morris is very like rugby," says Whiting. "There's the same camaraderie and discipline. You dance as a team."

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011

"Abbots Bromley Horn Dancer" photographed by Henry Bourne for the 'British Folklore Portraits' project, in collaboration with Simon Costin of the Museum of British Folklore

"Abbots Bromley Horn Dancer" photographed by Henry Bourne for the 'British Folklore Portraits' project, in collaboration with Simon Costin of the Museum of British Folklore