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Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival
From: 2014.02.13 To: 2014.02.20
Wondering what "Moonraking" is? It's really just a good excuse for a week of fun and story telling starting with a Ceilidh dance followed by lantern and story telling workshops and street theater. The namesake of the Moonraking Festival is based on a village tale about two 19th century smugglers who were collecting barrels of the illegal ‘moonshine’ drink from the canal. When the police asked the suspicious smugglers what they were doing they pointed to the reflection of the moon on the water and told the officers the moon had fallen in the water and they were trying to rake it out. Thinking they were fools, the police let the smugglers go and the ‘moonraking’ legend was born. The highlight of the festival is a long procession of 2,500 villagers with some 200 bearing colorful lanterns made of willow sticks and tissue paper. The lanterns vary from year to year, depending on the theme of the festival, and can be shaped like magic lamps, glass slippers, fairies, pumpkin carriages and castles.