Yorkshire Day is celebrated on 1 August to promote the historic English county of Yorkshire. It was celebrated in 1975, by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, initially in Beverley, as "a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974". The date alludes to the Battle of Minden, and also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, had campaigned.
A TLC Travel bus displaying "Happy Yorkshire Day!" on the destination blind on Yorkshire Day in 2018.
|Observed by||Residents of the county of Yorkshire|
|Significance||Anniversary of the Battle of Minden and the emancipation of slaves|
|Celebrations||Celebration and promotion of Yorkshire culture|
|Next time||1 August 2019|
|Related to||Lincolnshire Day; Minden Day; Oxfordshire Day; St Piran's Day; Sussex Day|
The day was already celebrated by the Light Infantry, successors to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, as Minden Day. 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.
- 1998: Huddersfield
- 1999: Kingston upon Hull
- 2001: Wakefield
- 2003: Halifax
- 2004: Leeds
- 2005: Bradford
- 2006: Penistone
- 2007: Kingston upon Hull
- 2008: Redcar
- 2009: Malton
- 2010: Hedon
- 2011: Wakefield
- 2012: Scarborough
- 2013: Skipton
- 2014: South Kirkby and Moorthorpe
- 2015: Doncaster
- 2016: Halifax
- 2017: Sheffield
- 2018: Ripon
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][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 Queen!"
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.
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.
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
- Thus, in 2013 it was "1,138 years' standing", in 2014 it will be "1,139 years' standing", and so on.
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- Hull Daily Mail, 29 July 1999
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- "Yorkshire Day celebrated in Hedon on Sunday 1st August 2010". The Hedon Blog. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
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- "A Festival of Yorkshire, Scarborough - Yorkshire Day and beyond". Scarborough Borough Council. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "Skipton will be flying the flag for Yorkshire Day". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "The history of Yorkshire Day celebrations". Hemsworth & South Elmsall Express. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Peace, Lee (27 July 2015). "A day of family fun promised as Doncaster hosts Yorkshire Day". Doncaster Free Press. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Halifax chosen to host official Yorkshire Day 2016 celebrations". Halifax Courier. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- "Yorkshire Day: This is Y we love Yorkshire at set of Emmerdale". Yorkshire Evening Post. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Greenway, Tony (7 March 2018). "Ripon to host Yorkshire Day in 2018". Yorkshire Life. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Yorkshire Day: Brian Blessed's Ilkla Moor Baht 'At rap". BBC News. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- "Celebrating Yorkshire's big day". The Press, York. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- "On terminal one baht 'at, but wi' gradely fish and chips; Yorkshire Day". The Times. 1 August 1991.