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What is Yorkshire Day and why do we celebrate it on August 1?

What could be better than a full day dedicated to celebrating the best county in the UK – Yorkshire.

God’s Own County gets its own day on the calendar – August 1. And, although it’s not a bank holiday, the day provides a good opportunity to celebrate our region’s culture and history.

Below is everything you need to know about the best day in the calendar year.

Read more: Yorkshire restaurant boss ‘heartbroken’ by prices he has to charge as customer says they won’t be visiting again

What is Yorkshire Day?

Yorkshire Day is an annual celebration on August 1 to promote the historic county of God’s Own. It was celebrated by the Yorkshire Ridings Society in 1975, initially in Beverley, as ‘a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974’, an unpopular move which saw huge swathes of Yorkshire removed from the county’s control and handed to Lancashire and other bordering areas. At the time, the government assured Yorkshire it was just an administrative change and that Yorkshire’s borders would remain the same. But now most people only see the council borders when deciding where Yorkshire starts and ends.

Why is Yorkshire Day on August 1?

Two important events in Yorkshire’s history took place on August 1.

First was the Battle of Minden, when British and German forces routed the French army in 1759 in what is now Germany. The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry played a prominent role in the battle and wore the traditional white rose on their caps.

August 1 also marks the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, which was championed by Yorkshire MP William Wilberforce.

When did we start celebrating Yorkshire Day?

In fact, Yorkshire Day is a recent invention – it was first celebrated in 1975, although the Light Infantry already celebrated the victory in Minden for a number of years before Yorkshire Day became an official celebration.

But it only became an “official” event when Yorkshire’s councils agreed on a “Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration” in 1985, which was held in York. Since then the host city or town has rotated across the region.

What happens on Yorkshire Day?

Events will take place across the region in celebration of Yorkshire Day, people often have street parties and venues host celebrations.

However, traditionally the region’s mayors, Lord Mayors and other public figures attend the host town for a breakfast reception before meeting for a thanksgiving service.

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