Rush-bearing is a religious festival – popular in parts of Britain from the 18th / 19th century – at which rushes were gathered to cover the floor of the church during the coming wet winter months.

This was usually performed on the festival of the St to whom the church was dedicated.

The festive parade – in which the rushes were carried on a specially-built rush-cart – passed through the community and was accompanied by music, dancing and drinking.

Although few survive, rush-bearing ceremonies were performed at:

The first Sunday after rush-bearing was known as Thump Sunday

See Old King Cross, Halifax

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 12:58 / 12th April 2023 / 2581

Page Ref: MMR28

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