Darkie Day/ Mummer's Day

Discussion in 'South West' started by breakwake_, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. breakwake_

    breakwake_ UKChat Familiar

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    Since theres a racism debate going on I thought I'd enlighten people on this.



    It is not just the Mayday Obby Oss festival for which Padstow is famous. Every year on Boxing Day and New Year's Day the townsfolk take to the streets once more for their corresponding winter festival, traditionally known as Darkie Days.

    The name Darkie Day is actually a corruption of the original Darking Day, which refers to the "darking" (darkening) of the faces. Both the face painting and the term Darkie have no connection to black people as a group.

    Darkie Days forms part of an ancient tradition of Pagan midwinter festivals that were until quite recently celebrated all over Cornwall between Christmas Day and Twelfth Night. The festivals centred on the practice of guise dancing (also known as goose dancing), which usually involved the performance of a traditional play (known as a Mummer's or Mumming play) whilst wearing a disguise, traditionally a blackened face, which allowed the players to lose their inhibitions and perform outlandishly in return for food or money. The practice of blacking one's face signalled a contrast to the summer festivals, such as the Obby Oss, during which white would be worn to herald the spring.

    Previously known as 'Darkie Day', the event's name was changed a few years ago after complaints from, among others, Britain's first black female MP the ill informed Diane Abbott, who tabled a House of Commons motion trying to ban it.

    In 2004, Devon and Cornwall Police caused uproar in the town when a large number of officers turned up to gather video evidence of possible racial offences at the event. No charges were brought.

    The event raises large sums for charitable good causes.
     
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  2. megs233

    megs233 UKChat Familiar

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    A sort of Black and White Minstrel then.......
     
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  3. JustinCredible

    JustinCredible UKChat Familiar

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    People still 'blackening up' in this day and age?
     
  4. breakwake_

    breakwake_ UKChat Familiar

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    It's a culture, other cultures like dressing up in robes pretending they're a guy called black Rob.
     
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  5. Altair

    Altair UKChat Familiar

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    Nowt wrong with that mate...As you say...'other' cultures get away with it these days...!
     
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  6. JustinCredible

    JustinCredible UKChat Familiar

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    Cornwall isn't exactly the heartlands of Britain's multi-cultural society and forgive me if i'm stereotyping (being a scouser i'm often the victim of that sort of thing) but the people from that little corner of the country aren't exactly known for their cosmopolitan attitude..they don't even like white middle-class tourists bringing their caravans into the area!
     
  7. breakwake_

    breakwake_ UKChat Familiar

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    I might have to stereotype myself here. Cornwall is loved and respected by the Cornish, the Cornish being Celts and descendants of the people who built stone circles to worship the solstice. Some of us think it's important to remember the functions of stone circles and other stone monuments so we continue traditions so that they aren't forgotten, unlike many of these monuments that have been destroyed in recent years. Its like remembering who we are, the problems being some others think we should be someone else. Respect and you shall be respected. I think the problem of caravans stems from them being so slow that they hold up the traffic solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the caravan who think we should be thankful for their presence. Nowadays the problem is more housing than caravans, which is mainly unaffordable to Cornish folk, which makes the celebrating of tradition that much more important.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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