World ? Europe ? England ? Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations

Photo credit to

Apr 2009 (annual)
Hours: Parade Sat 11am
Telephone: +44 (0) 1789 204 016
Fax: +44 (0) 1789 294911
Address: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, The Shakespeare Centre, Henley St, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6QW, UK
Link: Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust Website
Tradition holds that the 23 April is William Shakespeare's birthday, three days prior to the date recorded in the church records for his baptism. Every year in Stratford-upon-Avon, thousands of people participate in a myriad of events, including a parade.
Parade dress is mostly formal. Walkers wear morning dress or lounge suits, although the wearing of national dress and academic gowns is also encouraged. Ambassadors parade from the Great Garden of New Place and their country's flags are unfurled and displayed. Actors, directors and others carry banners with pictures of Shakespearean scenes and the entire parade makes its way to Holy Trinity Church, where the Bard's remains lay buried. There is also plenty of Morris dancing in the street.

After laying flowers on his grave, the distinguished guests retire for a slap-up lunch. Two speeches are always given, one concerning the immortal memory of William Shakespeare and the other a toast to the theatre. The parade day ends with a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

For more information, please visit the website of the Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust.
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