Monday, 8 September 2014
And the winner is....
This weekend saw the inaugural Scarecrow Festival in our village. It was fantastic fun. With the "help" of my children, I attempted to create a scene from Disney's Frozen. I was really quite pleased with my efforts until I actually did the trail myself and saw what everyone else had made!
When did a farm necessity become a competitive sport?! There were Batmen and Spidermen (one on a roof!), soldiers and nursery rhymes, cartoon characters and ballerinas. All home made and all wonderful.
It got me thinking about the evolution of traditions. I look at, for example, a family tree that I worked on earlier this year for a friend and I can see that the entirety of one side of her family were very much based in a relatively small area for many, many years. As discussed on previous posts, such situations were mainly due to the lack of affordable transportation. However, it makes you wonder how things like scarecrow festivals and other community traditions (like those mad Pancake Day football games, summer raft races and so on!) have survived when you see how spread out families are these days.
It is a shame that so many traditions have gone by the wayside. But when you do see a proper old fashioned event, it is usually a wonderful demonstration of British humour and eccentricity. A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to attend a raft race in Beer in Devon. The pebble beach slopes very steeply there and the aim was for teams to push their rafts down this slope, get some speed up and then be the furthest out from the shore and the longest afloat. However, when I say rafts, I mean floating Tardis with Weeping Angel and sound effects, the whole family of the Simpsons, a Thunderbirds rocket complete with uniformed pilots and a real piano with haybales and party of Wurzels on board! Brilliant!
So maybe this is the way to keep some of these traditions going. Bake sales become Bake Off's, Raft and scarecrow building become competitive sports. And local music festivals have X Factor style heats. Is this a bad thing? I do think that our ancestors would rather see communities staying together and traditions continuing, even if it means tapping into the modern obsession with competing.
So it is a great thing to see people starting something new, drumming up support for a community, bringing people together. A short post today but I was feeling the positive vibes from the weekend as we walked to school this morning and I felt I should share them!