Yorkshire Day

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Yorkshire Day
A TLC Travel bus displaying "Happy Yorkshire Day!" on the destination blind, Yorkshire Day in 2018.
Observed byResidents of Yorkshire
SignificanceBattle of Minden and the emancipation of slaves anniversary
CelebrationsCelebration and promotion of Yorkshire culture
Date1 August
Next time1 August 2024 (2024-08-01)
Related toLincolnshire Day; Minden Day; Oxfordshire Day; St Piran's Day; Sussex Day

Yorkshire Day is a yearly celebration on 1 August to promote the historic county of Yorkshire, England.[1] It was celebrated by the Yorkshire Ridings Society in 1975, initially in Beverley, as "a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974".

On 1 August the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was passed, during the British Empire in 1834. William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire MP, had campaigned for the emancipation.[2][3]

The day was already celebrated by the Light Infantry, successors to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, as Minden Day, after the battle of Minden. Together with five other infantry regiments of the British Army, a rose is permitted to be worn in the headdress. In the case of the Light Infantry, the rose is white.

Yorkshire Society[edit]

The event was first celebrated officially in 1985, when council authorities agreed to host a joint civic celebration in York. Attended by lord mayors, mayors, and other civic heads, this has been repeated annually with the location moving each year.[4] It is convened by the Yorkshire Society.[citation needed]

Saltburn, Guisborough and Saddleworth have also played host. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, celebrations were cancelled in 2020 and in 2021 York held on-line events.[26]

Similar events have been promoted by the Friends of Real Lancashire (27 November, since 1996) and the Huntingdonshire Society (25 April, since 2002) to promote their counties.

On Yorkshire Day, members of the society read a "Declaration of Integrity":

"I, [Name], being a resident of the [West/North/East] Riding of Yorkshire [or City of York] declare:

That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of [Current Year minus 875, so for 2023, 1148][note 1] 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 Yorkshiremen and women; That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.

These declarations made this Yorkshire Day [Year]. God Save the King!"[27]

In York the Declaration is made four times by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, once for each Riding and once for the City of York. The traditional boundaries of the Three Ridings run up to the ancient city walls, so by processing out of three of the bars (gatehouses) the Society can make the Declaration in each Riding, followed by reading the Declaration within a fourth bar inside the City.[28]

Critical reaction[edit]

The day has attracted some criticism:

Despite the serious underlying purpose and money-raising activities for charity, some Yorkshire people worry that it has become a media and marketing jamboree, perpetuating stereotypes of whippets, black puddings and flat caps. "We have to be careful not to overdo it, but regional distinctiveness adds colour. I'm against a grey uniformity spreading over everything, which is the way the world is going," says Arnold Kellett from the Yorkshire Dialect Society.[5]

In its early years, the day was not widely acknowledged. A 1991 Times editorial read:

Today is Yorkshire Day. Not many people know that, as a very non-Yorkshire person likes to say, and probably not many Yorkshiremen either know or care. It is almost as artificial as Father's Day, which, as all thrifty northerners know, was created to sell more greetings cards

— The Times[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thus, in 2013 it was "1,138 years' standing", in 2014 it was "1,139 years' standing", in 2015 it was "1,140 years' standing", and so on.


  1. ^ "Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2014 - top 10 regions". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Yorkshiremen want power in ridings". The Times. 1 August 1977.
  3. ^ "Why the white rose is riding high". The Times. 31 July 1980.
  4. ^ a b Megan Banner (1 August 2023). "What is Yorkshire Day and why do we celebrate it on August 1?". Yorkshire Live. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Grand day for the white rose county". The Times. 1 August 1998.
  6. ^ Hull Daily Mail, 29 July 1999
  7. ^ "Yorkshire pride has its day". BBC News. 1 August 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  8. ^ "White rose county has its day". BBC News. 31 July 2003. Retrieved 26 September 2006.
  9. ^ "Yorkshire Day celebrations begin". BBC News. 31 July 2005. Retrieved 26 September 2006.
  10. ^ "County celebrates Yorkshire day". BBC News. 1 August 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2006.
  11. ^ "Yorkshire Day celebrates traditional culture and heritage of our county] Wilberforce 2007". 1 August 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  12. ^ "Yorkshire Day plans for Redcar and Cleveland". Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
  13. ^ "County gears up for Yorkshire Day". Darlington and Stockton Times. 31 July 2009. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Yorkshire Day celebrated in Hedon on Sunday 1st August 2010". Hu12 Online. The Hedon Blog. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Soldiers lead Yorkshire Day parade". Wakefield Express. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  16. ^ "A Festival of Yorkshire, Scarborough - Yorkshire Day and beyond". Scarborough Borough Council. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  17. ^ "Skipton will be flying the flag for Yorkshire Day". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  18. ^ "The history of Yorkshire Day celebrations". Hemsworth & South Elmsall Express. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  19. ^ Peace, Lee (27 July 2015). "A day of family fun promised as Doncaster hosts Yorkshire Day". Doncaster Free Press. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Halifax chosen to host official Yorkshire Day 2016 celebrations". Halifax Courier. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Yorkshire Day: This is Y we love Yorkshire at set of Emmerdale". Yorkshire Evening Post. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  22. ^ Greenway, Tony (7 March 2018). "Ripon to host Yorkshire Day in 2018". Yorkshire Life. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration 2019". The Yorkshire Society. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Corporate members, Keighley Town Council, are planning a great Yorkshire Day celebration". The Yorkshire Society. 19 July 2021. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Yorkshire Day 2023". Yorkshire Times. 1 August 2023. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  26. ^ Brooke, Sam (1 August 2021). "When and what is Yorkshire Day? The history and why we celebrate it". Leeds Live. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  27. ^ "Yorkshire Day: Brian Blessed's Ilkla Moor Baht 'At rap". BBC News. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Celebrating Yorkshire's big day". The Press, York. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  29. ^ Wilkinson, Paul (1 August 1991). "On terminal one baht 'at, but wi' gradely fish and chips". The Times. No. 64087. p. 5. ISSN 0140-0460.

External links[edit]