Tynwald Ceremony

Tynwald Ceremony

July 5
The Isle of Man, located off the coast of England in the Irish Sea, was once the property of the Vikings. It was here that they established their custom of holding an open-air court for the settling of disputes and the passing of laws. They held their "Thing," or tribal parliament, in an open space, usually near a hill or mound, because they feared the magic associated with roofed buildings and wanted everyone to have easy access to the meeting.
Today, the Tynwald Ceremony—whose name comes from the Norse Thing vollr, meaning a fenced open parliament—is held at St. John's on Tynwald Hill. According to local lore, this hill contains soil from each of the Isle of Man's 17 ancient parishes. The ceremony takes place on July 5, which is Old Midsummer Day, when the Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man exits a special service at St. John's Chapel and is accompanied to the hill by church and state officials. The chief justice reads a brief summary of every bill that has been passed during the year—first in English, and then in Manx, the old language of the island. This formality, once concluded, symbolizes the fact that the inhabitants of the Isle of Man have acknowledged the acts of the British Parliament and have incorporated them into the laws of their land.
CONTACTS:
Office of the Clerk of Tynwald, The Parliament of the Isle of Man Tynwald
Legislative Bldg.
Douglas
Isle of Man, IM1 3PW British Isles
44-16-24-685500; fax: 44-1624-685504
www.tynwald.org.im
SOURCES:
EngCustUse-1941, p. 120
FestEur-1961, p. 80
FolkCal-1930, p. 148
YrFest-1972, p. 51
References in periodicals archive ?
The Queen, who holds the title of Lord of Mann, attended the Tynwald ceremony, as thousands gathered to celebrate the island's national day.