Richmond First Fruits Ceremony

Where: Richmond, North Yorkshire outside Trinity Church, Market Place
When: Saturday early to mid September
Time: 10 am

 

Inspection of the grain

The First Fruits Ceremony at Richmond in Yorkshire is a harvest celebration which takes place annually in mid September. Most harvest festivals are primarily ecclesiastical, but this one is a civic service presided over by the Mayor. Following the procession from the Town Hall across the road, the preamble and some prayers, a local farmer hands the Mayor a sack of freshly harvested grain. After the Mayor and his expert witness (a miller, who should know about these matters) examine the corn and pronounce it good, the expert is given a bottle of wine by the Mayor and toasts are made to the successful harvest. Drinks are also offered to all those assembled, and a prize giving ceremony follows in which local gardeners and allotment holders are rewarded for their efforts, which seems appropriate to the occasion. Richmond was the major corn market in this part of England, and as far as I know this is the only First Fruits Ceremony in existence in the UK.

Helpful Hints

In 2016 it was held on Saturday 10th September – 2017 date is yet to be confirmed but will probably be Saturday 9th.

Click here for the Town Council’s website and diary: http://www.richmondtowncouncil.org.uk/index.htm


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