Recreation in Saddleworth
Whit Walks
Friday 28th May 2010
Friday 17th June 2011

Whit Friday is the premier day of Saddleworth’s year. The religious feast of Whitsun, also known as Pentecost, generally falls in late May or early June. It celebrates the coming of the tongues of fire onto the apostles’ heads enabling them to go out and preach to the world in all languages. For this reason, it is seen as the birthday of the Christian church.

The Whit Walks are therefore a walk of witness, by all the Christian churches, done in celebration to spread God’s word. As a celebration, it is a high day and holiday. Local schools and businesses are closed to enable everyone to take part. All dress in their best - it used to be the practice that people would get their one new outfit of the year for Whit Friday.

Each church in Saddleworth walks with its own congregation, banners, Sunday school children and flowers to the accompaniment of brass bands and most eventually congregate in Uppermill for a united service. After this, all process down Uppermill High Street to the viaduct and back, enabling congregations to pass and greet each other.

Whit Walks are a long established tradition, especially in the north of England, but have died out in the majority of places - leaving Saddleworth to continue this valued custom into the 21st century.  

Web Links:

Whit Friday Brassband Contest
The official website for full details of the Whit Friday Walks

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