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A history of the Return of the Ridings

Riders parade through town as part of the 2014 Common Ridings Photo: ITV Border

Common Riding season kicks off in Hawick today.

Eleven towns throughout the Scottish Borders will host their own festival as part of the annual tradition, which takes place over the summer months.

The Return of the Ridings dates back to the 13th century.

The events celebrate those who protected towns in the area against invasion from raiders known as the Borders Reivers .

Each year hundreds of riders parade through the towns and visitors come from across the globe to see them.

It's one of the most historic equestrian festivals in the world, with the oldest ridings belonging to Hawick, Selkirk, Langholm and Lauder.

In some towns, the festivities can last up to two weeks.

You can watch the highlights of last year's festival here.

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