Another great festival we recommend is Sin Eater Festival held on June 21-23rd…you can celebrate this years Summer Solstice in true style! It is held at The Bridges – just outside the centre of the village of Rattlinghope, Shropshire in the foot hills of the Long Mynd and Stiperstones National Nature Reserve. The area is believed to be home of the England’s last Sin-Eater, Richard Munslow, whose grave lies in the local Church. Now before we get down to the nitty-gritty of why this festival caught our eye…what is a sin-eater?
The term sin-eater refers to a person who, through ritual means, would take on by means of food and drink the sins of a household, often because of a recent death, thus absolving the soul and allowing that person to rest in peace. In the study of folklore sin-eating is considered a form of religious magic.
This ritual is said to have been practised in parts of England and Scotland, and allegedly survived until the late 19th or early 20th century in Wales and the adjoining Welsh Marches of Shropshire and Herefordshire, as well as certain portions of Appalachia in America (documented in the Foxfire cultural history series). Traditionally, it was performed by a beggar, and certain villages maintained their own sin-eaters. They would be brought to the dying person’s bedside, where a relative would place a crust of bread on the breast of the dying and pass a bowl of ale to him over the corpse. After praying or reciting the ritual, he would then drink and remove the bread from the breast and eat it, the act of which would remove the sin from the dying person and take it into himself.(wiki)
For those that like their folk music more left-field, as we often do, then you won’t be disappointed with this line-up, you will have heard many on Folk Radio UK, here’s a small taster:
Mary Hampton Cotillion
FRUK REVIEW: Mary Hampton – Gold Hat
The Horse Loom
Cath & Phil Tyler
FRUK: The Hind Wheels of Bad Luck
FRUK INTERVIEW: Trembling Bells & Mike Heron
The Cryin Lion
Dead Rat Orchestra
FRUK REVIEW: The Guga Hunters of Ness
David Thomas Broughton
DEAD RAT ORCHESTR
DAVID THOMAS BROUGHTON
THE HORSE LOOM
C JOYNES & STEPHANIE HLADOWSKI
MARY HAMPTON COTILLION
EX EASTER ISLAND HEAD
NICK JONAH DAVIS
CATH + PHIL TYLER
THE MEN FROM OFF
THE CRYING LION
BURNING OF THE SIN EATER
On the saturday night people will be invited to submit their sins ready for the night procession and the burning of the wicker’ish man . . . 30ft Sin-eater (main image)!
For those Ale drinkers amongst you, and I’m sure there are many, you’ll be pleased to know that The Bridges pub which is the first Three Tuns Brewery tap house and stocks a range of 9 beers plus some special surprises for Sin – Eater.
Plenty more on including: Sacred Harp Singing Workshop, Hedgerow Cinema, Camping, sin-eater talk, guided wildlife walk and more
Full Details here: