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  1. ITV Report

Scottish Borders saddle up for annual common ridings

Credit: PA

Festival season is upon us with towns across the Scottish Borders saddling up for a summer of celebration.

The first of this year's common ridings got underway in Hawick, which is one of the largest events.

Hundreds of people on horseback ride the town's historic boundaries in a tradition that dates back to 13th and 14th century. It has evolved into one of the biggest equestrian spectacles in Europe.

More woman are set to take part in the traditionally men-only event this year.

Women were given the opportunity to join in on the ride-outs more than 20 years ago, but it was only last summer that they played a part in the key ceremonial events.

The rides will run in the Scottish Borders from June through to August.

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Towns taking part will elect a “principal man” that will lead ride-outs under their new titles. A ‘Cornet’ is chosen in Hawick, a ‘Braw Lad’ if in Galashiels and ‘Callant’ if from Jedburgh.

Each community will put their own modern touch on the tradition with some celebrations lasting up to two weeks.

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The complete schedule for the event is as follows:

  • 6th - 8th June - Hawick Common Riding
  • 10th - 14th June - Selkirk Common Riding
  • 16th - 22nd June - Peebles Beltane
  • 16th - 22nd June - Melrose Festival
  • 21st - 30th June - Galashiels Braw Lads Gathering
  • 7th - 13th July - Duns Summer Festival
  • 14th - 20th July - Kelso Civic Week
  • 26th - July - Langholm Common Riding
  • 21st - 27th July - Musselburgh Festival
  • 28th July - 3rd August - Lauder Common Riding
  • 5th - 9th August - Coldstream Civic Week