Strawbear Festival

I had been seeing the advertisement of the Straw Bear Festival for many years but never really been to it or known much about it until last year.

Whittlesea is about 30 minutes east of Peterborough (an hours drive from Cambridge). It has held this festival that was revived in 1980.

The parade of the Straw Bear begins at 10.30 am on the Saturday morning. It was much bigger than I thought it would be. He is followed by a mini-me and many morris and molly dancers who have travelled quite some distances. One of them had come from York!

It is not really known where this custom came from but could date back to 1882. It is a festival to celebrate before the beginning of preparing the land for farming.

He dances around and will be given money, food and beer. He has a leash to help him get around as the head makes him unable to see. The Straw Bear goes around the various public houses.

Not only is there a parade but there are storyteller sessions, library session, concert (on the Friday) and a barn dance. Some things are free to attend and others you have to pay.

Here are more pictures of when I went.

Great event to get you out of the house in January!

All the Best!

American to Britain