Castleton Ancient Garland Ceremony originally derived from an Oak Apple Day festival, to celebrate the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 as up until 1859 May 29th was a public holiday in England and Garland is always held on this date unless a Sunday.
The oak leaf became a Royalist symbol after Charles II hid in an oak tree to escape the Roundheads after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
Waving an oak branch was seen to be as proud as waving a flag and to this day within the garland ceremony, you could be flogged if not wearing your sprig of oak!
In modern times the ceremony is recognised with a procession throughout the village, visiting each of the Public Houses including the Peak Hotel. Village children perform a traditional dance at each followed by maypole dancing in the Market place.
Unfortunately Garland Ceremony will not be taking place in 2021 due to Covid-19.