London boasts a rich and diverse history. Hence, it comes with no surprise that the city is associated with some unique and archaic traditions. Of course, a newbie visitor or an observer who knows nothing about it may not find most of these traditions meaningful or sensible. Some of the most popular traditions that the English capital city is known for include the Christmas Day Swims, ravens in the Tower of London, an MP being held as a hostage in the popular Buckingham Palace, sheep on the London Bridge, mother-of-pearl-encrusted suits, etc. Are you keen on knowing some in-depth details about all such archaic London traditions? Then, refer to the points given below.
Peter Pan Cup
Most people tend to spend their Christmas mornings in a church by participating in a holy mass or by opening their alluring Christmas gifts sitting under their Christmas trees. However, this is not the case with the serpentine swimming club in London. They rather tend to dare the frosty climate outside and conduct a swimming competition called the Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park. Needless to mention, the water will be freezing cold at this time. This unusual 100-yard swimming race began in 1903.
Bankside Twelfth Night
This is one of the most unusual traditions that take place in London in January. During this time, a healthy man dressed in an ivy suit will emerge from the picturesque Thames River accompanied by similar personalities in a rowing boat. Many people would have already congregated in front of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater at the bankside to enjoy this ceremony. The people emerged from the river will wish those crowd ‘wassail’, which means ‘good health’ in English.
This ceremony marks the beginning of the popular twelfth-night celebrations, which is, in turn, the end of the Christmas period. After this ceremony, people will start resuming their regular lifestyle. Traditional masked performers will enact a play as well at this time including the characters such as clever legs, turkey sniper, old oss, etc.
The London Bridge Annual Sheep Drive
The London Bridge is one of the most attractive spectacles in London and is popular for falling down. However, this national staple tends to host an unusual tradition called annual sheep drive in every September. In this ceremony, a herd of sheep will be driven across this mesmerizing bridge with the help of their shepherds. Earlier, this tradition was conducted to transport sheep to the local markets since this was the only way at that time. However, currently, the main focus of the annual London Bridge sheep drive is to uplift the wool industry. You will be amazed to know that the beginning of this incredible tradition is dated back to the 11th century.