An old Viking ceremony will be combined with a festival of live music, dancing and celebration on the Isle of Man this week.
Tynwald (a word of Norse origin) is the parliament of the Isle of Man. The Tynwald Day Ceremony is a unique open air parliamentary sitting, based on a traditional Viking assembly.
The original gathering was an opportunity for people to come together to hear the new laws being read out. Before widespread literacy there was no other way to make this information known.
This tradition continues today, as the laws made the previous year are promulgated in both English and Manx. In non-parliamentary speak, this means they are read out aloud to the people. If laws are not made known within 18 months of being made, they cease to have effect.
The Tynwald Day ceremony begins with a parade and a service at St John’s Chapel. This is followed by a procession to Tynwald Hill for the outdoor parliamentary gathering. The new Parliamentary Acts are read out by High Court Judges, known as ‘Deemsters’.
At the ceremony any person may approach the hill and present a ‘Petition for Redress’. Rather uniquely, this means any person can draw attention to a matter that they feel is important. This can lead directly to new legislation being created.
Alongside the ceremony, Tynwald Day features a day of family entertainment to promote the rich heritage and diversity of the island. This year there will be traditional music, dance and crafts, as well as stalls and a Viking village.
Entertainment on the front green, at Tynwald Hill, will include the Manx Folk Dance Society, Grand Manx Dance, Onchan Silver Band and a Spinnin Vannin workshop.
The TynwaldFest Stage will host craft workshops, Gena’s Dance Academy, face painting, the Isla Callister Trio and the Super Manx Ceili Band; whilst the Manx Tent will host the IOM Family History Society, Peel Heritage Foundation, Mannin Quilters, Manx Dialect Group, Peel Secret Gardens and Beach Buddies.
To highlight the Isle of Man’s Viking past, there will be Vikings setting up camp in Cooil y Ree. This will give visitors the opportunity to learn about the Vikings’ way of life, from the weapons they used to the clothes they wore, and the food they ate. The Viking village will have free demonstrations and weapon displays throughout the day, from 9am to 5pm.
Finally, the Arboretum will host the One World Global Village, from 9am to 5pm, with food, drink and entertainment.
When: 5th July 2019
Where: St John’s, Isle of Man
£: Free. Tickets for the grandstand cost £4
More info: www.tynwald.org.im