- Street performers 5. Cooking competition
- Eating together 6. Cheese Rolling
- Important for the whole country 7. In memory of the past events
- Lifting weights 8. A cookery sprint
A. A woolsack race is one of the British local festivals that could be called strange. It started in Tetbury, a wool town, in the 17th century when young men wanted to demonstrate their physical strength. Since then, every spring men and women compete in teams to carry heavy woolsacks up and down the hill. The race events are complemented by a funfair and musical entertainments.
B. Midsummer is the time for the Cheese Rolling Ceremony in many places. Competitors gather at the top of a hill. The Master of the Ceremonies lets a heavy head of cheese roll down the hill. Brave runners race down to be the first to catch it. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled in 2010 due to safety issues.
C. Another cheese ceremony is popular in the village of Randwick. On the first Sunday in May people roll three cheeses from right to left around the church. After rolling, the villagers cut up and share one of the cheeses. They believe that eating cheese brings health to their families.
D. The village of Marshfield, England, is famous for its Paperboys procession. People dressed in paper costumes go through the streets. They start from the market place and perform the town’s unique character play along the road. By noon they have done more than six performances for several hundred people.
E. Every January Up Helly Aa is celebrated in Scotland. People dressed in Viking costumes and helmets go through the streets of Lerwick. They hold flaming torches, sticks with special material on the top which burns in order to give light. The strongest participants carry a full size model of a Viking ship to an open field. There the people throw lit torches into the ship and burn it.
F. Melbourne Cup Day is held in Australia, in November. Although Cup Day is a public holiday only in the city of Melbourne, the rest of the country refuses to be left out of the event. People gather around televisions and computers, whether at work, at home, or wherever they are, just to watch this world famous horse race. This event is often called ‘the race that stops the nation’.
G. In a village in Eastern England, an unusual race takes place every year. Three groups take part in the race – adults, children (under 11s) and teenagers. Each participant receives a frying pan with a pancake and has to race from one end of a field to the other, throwing the pancake into the air and catching it in the frying pan without dropping it. The winner is the first to cross the line.