What is Tynwald Day and why is it celebrated on the Isle of Man?

Video by Isle of Man Reporter Joshua Stokes

The National Day of the Isle of Man, otherwise known as Tynwald Day, is 5 July.

It is the only day when the Manx parliament is held on Tynwald Hill in St John's, and the public can lobby lawmakers by presenting petitions.

Traditionally the day was marked with a fayre, but nowadays it is a much bigger event with concerts, family ceildh, firework displays, stalls and displays.

What happens on Tynwald Day?

  • The Manx parliament - meet on Tynwald Hill in St Johns for a ceremony, a legal requirement established by the Island's ninth century rulers. The hill is said to have been built by the Vikings and to contain soil from each of the 17 island parishes.

  • Following the proceedings on Tynwald Hill, presided over by the Lieutenant Governor, the members of Tynwald return to the Royal Chapel where a formal sitting of Tynwald usually takes place.

  • The day includes the promulgation of the newest Manx laws, the swearing-in of coroners and the captioning ceremony held in the royal chapel.

  • New laws are read out in both English and Manx Gaelic making them certified in the Isle of Man.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh preside over the Tynwald ceremony during a visit to the Isle of Man in 2003. Credit: PA

How long has Tynwald Day been celebrated?

  • For more than 1,000 years, the Tynwald Day festivities have taken place in St John's in the centre of the island.

  • The island's national herb, 'Bollane bane' or Mugwort, is usually worn by Manx residents and officials, with a Head of State in attendance - previous Heads include Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, Princess Anne, and many others.

  • The Isle of Man's parliament, is of Norse (Viking) origin and has existed on the island for more than 1,000 years, making it the oldest parliament in the world with an unbroken existence.

Tynwald Day has been celebrated for over 1,000 years. Credit: Greenlight TV

The President of Tynwald, The Hon Laurence D Skelly MLC said: "Tynwald Day is our National Day that provides a wonderful opportunity to collectively celebrate everything that is Manx, especially our deep traditions, our Island community and our many achievements.

"As a proud Manxman, I am deeply honoured to be attending the ceremony this year in my new role as President."

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