5 Things You Never Knew About Yorkshire Day

On August 1st every year us Yorkshire folk all come together to celebrate our great county, its people, food, language, and just everything that is great about God’s own County. In order to educate those from outside our great region, here’s a bit of trivia about our special day.

1. The modern Yorkshire Day was created as a protest

signsx humberside

The modern Yorkshire Day was born out of the East Riding’s hatred of their new name – Humberside Picture credit: adpopulum Wikipedia creative commons.

Originally Yorkshire day was celebrated to mark the county’s regiment’s famous win in the Battle of Minden of 1759 and the emancipation of slaves by Hull MP, William Wilberforce in 1834. Over time these examples of true Yorkshire grit were largely forgotten about, even by Yorkies themselves. However, in 1975 a group from Beverley, known as “The Yorkshire Society,” revived our special day in protest at the recent boundary changes which put their area in a weird, alien territory known as “Humberside.” This meant that places like Beverley, Hull, Driffield and Bridlington were banished forever from Yorkshire and into the arms of North Lincolnshire. Folk from the East Riding hated Humberside so much that they re-invented Yorkshire Day to celebrate the county they still felt part of. Luckily in 1996 the government finally saw common sense, restoring the traditional East Riding of Yorkshire, putting it back where it truly belongs and sending the hated Humberside to the history books.


2. There is an actual declaration of Yorkshireness

Yorkshire flag

There is a ceremony swearing allegience to Yorkshire and its flag. Source: The Yorkshire society wikipedia creative commons

Every August 1st in York the Yorkshire flag is carried to the four walls of the city and a declaration swearing loyalty to the county is read out. It reads:

  • that Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York with these boundaries of one thousand, one hundred and thirty nine 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 Yorkshire men and women;
  • that any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.                 

                        YORKSHIRE FOREVER!

                        GOD SAVE THE KING!

Nuff said!

3. Yes- Welly wanging does exist and it takes place on Yorkshire Day- Join in it’s fun!

yorkshire day wellies

Welly wanging contests are a vital part of Yorkshire Day. Picture credit: welliefreak Wikipedia Creative commons

If you’re from Yorkshire you’ll probably already know this, but as we are on t’internet and potentially someone could be reading this on a desert island it is important to point out that welly wanging does exist and is a truly great sport. The rules are simple- grab a welly and “wang” (or throw) it as far as you can.

Yorkshire Day events can be found across the county. It’s origins come from the Pennine village of Upperthong, which is also home to the annual World Championships, held here each June.

Fancy a go? The complete set of rules can be found on the Upperthong village website.

4. Every year there is a host town

Halifax is the 2016 host of Yorkshire Day. Picture Credit: Chris Johnson (IFY Community)
Halifax is the 2016 host of Yorkshire Day. Picture Credit: Chris Johnson (IFY Community)

Like the Olympics, or the World Cup, a host is nominated for the event each year. Several places in the county have had this honour in recent years, including Doncaster (2015),  South Kirkby & Moorthorpe (2014), Skipton (2013), Scarborough (2012), Wakefield (2011) and Hedon near Hull (2010). All the county’s mayors and dignitaries, plus The Yorkshire Society who revived the event in 1975, gather here. In 2016 they met in Halifax which was been nominated the host town.

5. Yorkshire Day is not just celebrated in Yorkshire

Yorkshire Day is also celebrated in expat communities across the world, especially in New Zealand. Picture credit: Wikipedia public domain.
Yorkshire Day is also celebrated in expat communities across the world, especially in New Zealand. Picture credit: Wikipedia public domain.

Yes Lancastrians love it too! Just kidding! Yorkshire Day is celebrated widely among the expat communities, especially in New Zealand, where the town of Waiuku becomes the first town anywhere in the world to celebrate Yorkshire Day each year. The celebrations includes guests bringing an item of memorabilia from their home county, a large map of the region where people can stick a pin to show where they are originally from, plus plenty of Yorkshire puddings, fish, chips, and mushy peas to eat!

Happy Yorkshire Day Everybody!