What is Yorkshire Day, how did it start and how is it celebrated?

With Yorkshire’s history spanning centuries, it’s no wonder we celebrate the region.

Yorkshire Day is a day dedicated to all things Yorkshire.

Here is everything you need to know about what the day entails and how Yorkshire folk celebrate Yorkshire Day.

What is Yorkshire Day?

Yorkshire Flag flying at Park Hill Flats. (Pic credit: Marisa Cashill)

This annual event celebrates and promotes the region of Yorkshire.

It’s not just the people of Yorkshire that celebrate Yorkshire Day, with people outside of the region and globally now joining in the festivities.

What is the origin of Yorkshire Day?

Yorkshire Day was first celebrated on August 1, 1975 by the Yorkshire Ridings Society.

However, it wasn’t an official event until Yorkshire’s councils agreed on an ‘Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration’ in 1985, which took place in York.

Since then the host city or town has changed every year across the region.

The date references the Battle of Minden, and also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which former Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, campaigned for.

How do people celebrate Yorkshire Day?

Traditionally, the region’s mayors, Lord Mayors and other public figures attend the host town or city for a breakfast reception before meeting for a thanksgiving service. A street parade is then held, then a formal lunch to finish.

Yorkshire Day celebrations initially began with a reading, but now the day comprises anything related to Yorkshire, from local food produce and confectionery to its rich history.

Celebrations usually entails eating a large amount of traditional Yorkshire food, including the famous Yorkshire Pudding, but they can also include a simple reminder of all the things are great about Yorkshire.

One ongoing tradition is the reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity, including by members of The Yorkshire Ridings Society or a recital of Yorkshire dialect.