RETURN TO THE RIDINGS.
The "Return to the Ridings" is a celebration of the riding of the boundaries that has taken place for centuries, in total 11 towns in the Scottish Borders use horses for the traditional ride out and the festivals that surround these ride outs are also steeped in tradition and a celebration of borders history.
Dates for Common Ridings and Festivals 20091-6 June Hawick Common Riding
5-13th June West Linton Whipman
8-13 June Selkirk Common Riding
14-20 June Peebles Beltane
14-20 June Melrose Festival
19-28 June Galashiels Braw Lads Gathering
27 June - 10th July Jethart Callants Festival
5-11 July Duns Summer Festival
13-18 July Kelso Civic Week
26 Jul-1 Aug Lauder Common Riding
2-8 August Coldstream Civic Week
Common Ridings can be traced back to the 13th and 14th centuries when the border lands were in constant upheaval during the long wars with England and because of the tribal custom of plunder and cattle thieving, known as reiving (the ancient word for robbing) that was commonplace amongst the major Borders families.
In such lawless times, townspeople would ride their boundaries, or 'marches', to protect their common lands and prevent encroachment by neighbouring landlords. Long after they ceased to be essential, the ridings continued in commemoration of local legend, history and tradition.
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