Ancient Kentish Traditions and Folklore

Folklore resides at the core of Kentish culture, having emerged before authors could write down in written form the common practices. Embellished with legends and myths, folklore relates to popular wisdom and social customs.

Apart from the still told stories, there are traditional events that take place in Kent, being an accent of its unique culture. Besides England´s typical festivities, the local ones include:

Sweeps Festivalsimg_1723

It takes place on the first weekend of May, every year, in Rochester. It evokes the historic trade of chimney sweeping. The tradition relates to chimney sweepers celebrating the arrival of the warmer weather when they could begin their sweeping. They joyful event includes a pagan inspired celebration of spring venerating nature, lots of music, and dancing.

Hop Hoodening

Every year, on the first days of September, the Hop Hoodening is celebrated in Canterbury. It is centred on hop harvesting, and the event includes a parade marching towards Canterbury Cathedral with the participants playing specific roles and wearing special costumes.

Whitstable Oyster Festival

Every summer, around St. James Day, the Patron Saint of oyster trade, the Whitstable Oyster Festival and blessing of the waters takes place. It is a very lively event.

St. Bartholomew´s Day

At Sandwich, Kent, every August children run around St. Bart´s church. After having completed the circuit, children are given a scone or bun, and adults receive a biscuit especially baked for the event.

Biddenden Dole´s Easter Monday Festival

Biddenden cakes are given following an ancient charity named Biddenden Dole. Each cake displays a picture of two women joined on one side. The females are supposed to represent the Siamese twins Eliza and Mary Chulkhurst, born in 1100, and who bequeathed money for the Dole of bread, beer, cakes and cheese. When one of the sisters died, the other refused to be separated and passed away hours later, leaving 20 acres of ground to provide money for the Dole.

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