Tag Archives: Festival

Horsing around: a wild weekend at Appleby Fair

One week every year, the tiny town of Appleby in Cumbria host the largest gathering of Gypsies and Travellers in Western Europe. Around 10,000 members of the travelling community pour into the Eden Valley to trade horses, party, gamble, meet friends, and even find love.

Increasingly, horses are being brought to the three-day fair for leisure rather than for trade, and the vast majority of visitors are there as part of a traditional family holiday. Hundreds of horses are seen being ridden around the town, washed in the river, groomed, and exercised (the best way of showing them off).

I’d known about the Appleby fair for years – it’s been around since 1775 – but last year was the first time I got to visit. It … Read the rest

The Gidi Tribe: Nigeria’s most exciting new youth movement

Chinedu Okeke and Oriteme Banigo started Gidi Culture Fest back in 2014, after feeling increasingly frustrated by the lack of community spaces available for young, culturally savvy Nigerians.

Now, five years later, the annual one-day festival has established itself as one of the biggest music events in the country: doubling in size with each outing, and shifting the world’s perceptions of young African culture.

“Gidi Fest started out of frustration of there not being enough outdoor events that brought the youth together,” explains Okeke. “We wanted to create a safe place that would allow the youth to channel their energy towards something positive. More than a festival, it was about a movement.”

The multi-sensory art, music and cultural experience took place in Lagos at the … Read the rest

The Frost Fairs of River Thames

Between the 13th and the 19th centuries, the northern hemisphere was in the grip of a “Little Ice Age”. Temperatures dropped worldwide as summers became cold and wet while winters became colder, long and harsh.

In the Swiss Alps encroaching glaciers destroyed farmlands and villages. Canals and rivers in Great Britain and the Netherlands froze up frequently hampering navigation. Greenland was largely cut off by sea ice for three hundred years. With failing crops, many Norse colonies in Greenland starved to death and disappeared.

While famine and death became common across Europe, people also started taking advantage of the cold weather. Frozen ponds and rivers became impromptu ice skating rinks, and outdoor winter sports became popular pastime activities.

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A Frost Fair on the River Thames in Read the rest