Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Helping of Tradition

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Helping of Tradition

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Cochlin

One of the North-East's oldest festivals kicked off in style at the weekend with a display of dancing, martial arts and music.

Houghton Feast is the oldest and most traditional festival staged in the City of Sunderland ( originating in the early 1100s.

The festivities celebrate all aspects of community life in Houghton-le-Spring and beyond.

The feast is famous for ox-roasting, illuminations, parades and races and this year's opening ceremony featured a dazzling light and sound show recounting the story of the area through the ages.

Colourful puppets made by children the town's Kepier School led the way on Friday night, ushering in a series of vibrant illuminations. Saturday was "Feast Festival Day" ( a host of free attractions that included street theatre and a carnival parade.

The event began in the 1100s as a festival of the dedication of the parish church of St Michael and All Angels.

Houghton-le-Spring rector Bernard Gilpin is believed to have started the tradition of the ox roast in the 16th Century. …

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