Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place in London since 1966 on the streets of the Notting Hill area of Kensington, each August over two days. It is led by members of the British West Indian community, attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world's largest street festivals, a significant event in Black British culture. In 2006, the UK public voted it onto a list of icons of England. Despite its name, it is not part of the global Carnival season preceding Lent; the roots of the Notting Hill Carnival that took shape in the mid-1960s had two separate but connected strands. A "Caribbean Carnival" was held on 30 January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall as a response to the problematic state of race relations at the time; the 1959 event, held indoors and televised by the BBC, was organised by the Trinidadian journalist and activist Claudia Jones in her capacity as editor of influential black newspaper The West Indian Gazette, directed by Edric Connor.
The other important strand was the "hippie" London Free School-inspired festival in Notting Hill that became the first organised outside event, in August 1966. The prime mover was Rhaune Laslett, not aware of the indoor events when she first raised the idea; this festival was a more diverse Notting Hill event to promote cultural unity. A street party for neighbourhood children turned into a carnival procession when Russell Henderson's steel band went on a walkabout. By 1970, "the Notting Hill Carnival consisted of 2 music bands, the Russell Henderson Combo and Selwyn Baptiste's Notting Hill Adventure Playground Steelband and 500 dancing spectators."Emslie Horniman's Pleasance, with Kensal Green and Westbourne Park the nearest tube stations, has been the carnival's traditional starting point. Among the early bands to participate were Ebony Steelband and Metronomes Steelband; as the carnival had no permanent staff and head office, the Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill, run by another Trinidadian, Frank Crichlow, came to function as an informal communication hub and office address for the carnival's organisers.
Leslie Palmer, director from 1973 to 1975, is credited with "getting sponsorship, recruiting more steel bands, reggae groups and sound systems, introducing generators and extending the route." He encouraged traditional masquerade, for the first time in 1973 costume bands and steel bands from the various islands took part in the street parade, alongside the introduction of stationary sound systems, as distinct from those on moving floats, which, as Alex Pascall has explained, "created the bridge between the two cultures of carnival and calypso." "Notting Hill Carnival became a major festival in 1975 when it was organised by a young teacher, Leslie Palmer." The carnival was popularised by live radio broadcasts by Pascall on his daily Black Londoners programme for BBC Radio London. By 1976, the event had become Caribbean in flavour, with around 150,000 people attending. However, in that year and several subsequent years, the carnival was marred by riots, in which predominantly Caribbean youths fought with police – a target due to the continuous harassment the population felt they were under.
During this period, there was considerable press coverage of the disorder, which some felt took an unfairly negative and one-sided view of the carnival. For a while it looked. Prince Charles was one of the few establishment figures. Concerns about the size of the event resulted in London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, setting up a Carnival Review Group to look into "formulating guidelines to safeguard the future of the Carnival". An interim report by the review resulted in a change to the route in 2002; when the full report was published in 2004, it recommended that Hyde Park be used as a "savannah", though the proposal of such a move attracted concerns, including that the Hyde Park event might overshadow the original street carnival. In 2003, the Notting Hill Carnival was run by a limited company, the Notting Hill Carnival Trust Ltd. A report by the London Development Agency on the 2002 Carnival estimated that the event contributed around £93 million to the London and UK economy, set against an estimated £6-10 million costs.
However, the 2016 residents' survey commissioned by local Conservative MP Victoria Borwick found that while 6% of businesses reported an upturn in trade, many others boarded up their shopfronts and lost business due to closure. In 2005, entrants from the Notting Hill Carnival participated in the Bridgwater, carnival, Europe's largest lighted carnival and part of the West Country Carnival circuit. For the 2011 Notting Hill Carnival an iPhone app was released, in 2012 both iPhone and Android apps. For 2014, a Notting Hill Carnival illustrated guide was created by official city guide to London visitlondon.com. The infographic includes transport information and a route map; the book Carnival: A Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival, by Ishmahil Blagrove and Margaret Bus
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
British African-Caribbean people
British African-Caribbean people are residents of the United Kingdom whose ancestors were indigenous to Africa. As immigration to the United Kingdom from Africa increased in the 1990s, the term has sometimes been used to include UK residents of African origin or as a term to define all Black British residents, though the phrase African and Caribbean has more been used to cover such a broader grouping; the most common and traditional use of the term African-Caribbean community is in reference to groups of residents continuing aspects of Caribbean culture and traditions in the UK. The African-Caribbean population in the UK come from the Islands in the British West Indies such as Jamaica and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Belize. African-Caribbean communities are present throughout the United Kingdom's major cities, the UK Census identified the largest concentration is in Birmingham followed by London. Manchester, Nottingham, Luton, Leicester, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Cardiff.
In these cities, the community is traditionally associated with a particular area, such as Brixton, Stonebridge, Lewisham, Peckham in London, West Bowling and Heaton in Bradford, Chapeltown in Leeds, St. Pauls in Bristol, or Handsworth and Aston in Birmingham or Moss Side in Manchester, St Ann's in Nottingham and Toxteth in Liverpool. According to the 2011 UK Census, the largest number of African-Caribbean people are now found in Croydon, South London. A glossary published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health with the intention of stimulating debate about the development of better and more internationally applicable terms to describe ethnicity and race, suggests a definition of Afro-Caribbean/African Caribbean as, "A person of African ancestral origins whose family settled in the Caribbean before emigrating and who self identifies, or is identified, as Afro-Caribbean". A survey of the use of terms to describe people of African descent in medical research notes that: "The term African Caribbean/Afro-Caribbean when used in Europe and North America refers to people with African ancestral origins who migrated via the Caribbean islands".
It suggests that use of the term in the UK is inconsistent, with some researchers using it to describe people of Black and of Caribbean descent, whereas others use it to refer to those of either West African or Caribbean background. The British Sociological Association's guidelines on ethnicity and race state that "African-Caribbean has replaced the term Afro-Caribbean to refer to Caribbean peoples and those of Caribbean origin who are of African descent. There is now a view that the term should not be hyphenated and that indeed, the differences between such groups mean the people of African and Caribbean origins should be referred to separately"; the Guardian and Observer style guide prescribes the use of "African-Caribbean" for use in the two newspapers noting "not Afro-Caribbean". Sociologist Peter J. Aspinall argues that the term "Black" has been reclaimed by people of African and Caribbean origin in the UK, noting that in a 1992 health survey, 17 per cent of 722 African–Caribbeans surveyed, including 36 percent of those aged 16 to 29, described themselves as "Black British".
This, he suggests, "appears to be a pragmatic and spontaneous response to the wish to describe an allegiance to a'British' identity and the diminishing importance of ties with a homeland in the Caribbean". From the 16th century to the 19th century, enslaved Africans were shipped by European slave traders to British colonies in the Caribbean and British North America, as well as French, Danish and Portuguese colonies. New World slavery was focused on the extraction of gold and other precious raw materials. Africans were later set to work on the vast cotton and sugar plantations in the Americas for the economic benefit of these colonial powers and their plantocracy. One impact of the American Revolution was the differing historical development of African-American and African-Caribbean people. Whereas the American colonies had established slavery by positive laws, slavery did not exist under English common law and was thus prohibited in England; the much lauded British Afro-Caribbean Ignatius Sancho was among the leading British abolitionists in the 18th century, in 1783 an abolitionist movement spread throughout Britain to end slavery throughout the British Empire, with the poet William Cowper writing in 1785: "We have no slaves at home – Then why abroad?
Slaves cannot breathe in England. They touch our country, their shackles fall. That's noble, bespeaks a nation proud, and jealous of the blessing. Spread it And let it circulate through every vein." There are records of small communities in the ports of Cardiff, Liverpool and South Shields dating back to the mid-18th century. These communities were formed by freed slaves following the abolition of slavery. Typical occupations of the early migrants were coachmen. Prominent African-Caribbean people in Britain during the 19th century include: William Davidson, Cato Street Conspirator Rev. George Cousens, a Jamaican who became minister of Cradley Heath Baptist Church in 1837 Mary Seacole
Leeds West Indian Carnival
The Leeds Carnival called the Leeds West Indian Carnival or the Chapeltown Carnival, is one of the longest running West Indian carnivals in Europe, having been going since 1967. The carnival is held in the Chapeltown and Harehills parts of Leeds every August bank holiday weekend. Attendance is estimated at about 150,000, it is a three-day event, climaxing in a carnival procession on Bank Holiday Monday, which starts and finishes in Potternewton Park in Chapeltown. A parade of floats and dancers makes its way along Harehills Avenue, down Roundhay Road in Harehills, along Barrack Road and back along Chapeltown Road to the park, where a wide range of stages and stalls provide entertainment and refreshment for carnival-goers. Since 2005 this event has been covered by BBC Radio 1Xtra in conjunction with Notting Hill Carnival; the Carnival Queen is chosen on the Friday before the main event, in 2008 for the first time a Carnival King was chosen: they were Davina Williams and Tyrone Henry. The 2009 King and Queen were Nicole Isles, who are father and daughter.
Its founders were Arthur France a Leeds University student from Nevis, longstanding Chairman, Ian Charles, still Co-ordinator in 2008, Gertrude Paul, a teacher. Arthur France proposed what would be the first Caribbean-style outdoor carnival organized by people of Caribbean origin in Europe; as the local Caribbean association was not forthcoming, he formed his own committee, Ian Charles's home became a factory for costumes. Five contestants entered the first Carnival Queen Show, won by Vicky Seal as the Sun Goddess, they joined bands and dancers in a procession from Potternewton Park to Leeds Town Hall, where a steel band competition was followed by a dance. About 1,000 people attended; the Leeds performers were invited to participate in the Notting Hill Carnival the same year. In the 1970s a procession route was established from Potternewton Park and back again via the city centre; the steel bands were on human-powered wheeled platforms. In 1977 crowds of 10,000 were reported; the 1980s established a shorter route around Chapeltown and Harehills, sponsorship by local organizations.
A Carnival Prince and Princess were chosen. Attendance reached 40,000 in 1988. In 1990 three people died during violence in the area afterwards; the decade saw increased professionalism by the now experienced Carnival Committee and the introduction of lorries to carry bands. 1997 was the 30th anniversary and Arthur France received the MBE for his work with the local community. 2007 was the 40th anniversary, with crowds of 100,000 for the first time. It was the 25th anniversary of the Leeds West Indian Centre, the bicentenary of the British abolition of transatlantic slavery. Ian Charles received the MBE. Guy Farrar, Max Farrar, Tim Smith, Celebrate!: 50 Years of Leeds West Indian Carnival, Northern Arts Publications, 2017, ISBN 978-1911148180 Mas Media – Leeds Carnival Blog Caribbean Carnival British African-Caribbean community www.leedscarnival.co.uk Leeds Carnival Organizers' website "Leeds enjoys 41st Carnival", BBC News, 25 August 2008 "West Indian Carnival 2008", BBC Leeds, U-Z Picture Galleries
Victoria Park, Leicester
Victoria Park in Leicester, England is a public park of 69 acres. It is in the south-east, just outside the city centre, backing on to the University of Leicester and close to the Leicester railway station; the park was part of the South Fields of Leicester, was used from 1806 to 1883 as a racecourse – a function, transferred to the purpose-built Leicester Racecourse in Oadby. It was opened as a park in 1882. A Victorian grandstand stood in the park until the mid-20th century, was used as a pavilion after racing moved to Oadby, it was damaged by a German parachute bomb in 1940 and demolished, with the new pavilion built on the same site and opened in 1958. Leicester Fosse played here on various occasions between 1884 and 1890, it has facilities for various sports, including tennis, bowls, croquet and cricket. A skate park has been added and there is an adventure playground for young children; the majority of the park is level, open grassland and the largest space in particular is sometimes used as a venue for outdoor events – in recent years these have included BBC Radio 1's One Big Sunday, the Leicester Caribbean Carnival, Leicester Pride and the Summer Sundae music festival.
Kasabian had a sell out concert here with 50,000 tickets sold. A pavilion provides sports changing facilities, is the site of a cafe; the park is home to two memorials. The Arch of Remembrance, a quadrifrons arch, was designed by Edwin Lutyens and built in 1923, to commemorate the dead of the First World War; the memorial, a Grade I listed building, stands at the top of an ornamental walkway with gates opening on to University Road. A smaller memorial near the cafe commemorates the American 82nd Airborne Division, stationed in Leicester prior to D-Day; the gates and lodges on the London Road side of the park were designed by Lutyens and built in 1930. A parkrun takes place in the park every Saturday morning at 9am
Leicester is a city and unitary authority area in the East Midlands of England, the county town of Leicestershire. The city close to the eastern end of the National Forest; the 2016 mid year estimate of the population of the City of Leicester unitary authority was 348,300, an increase of 18,500 from the 2011 census figure of 329,839, making it the most populous municipality in the East Midlands region. The associated urban area is the 11th most populous in England and the 13th most populous in the United Kingdom. Leicester is at the intersection of two major railway lines—the north/south Midland Main Line and the east/west Birmingham to London Stansted CrossCountry line. Leicester is the home to football club Leicester City and rugby club Leicester Tigers; the name of Leicester is recorded in the 9th-century History of the Britons as Cair Lerion, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Ligora-ceastre. In the Domesday Book of 1086, it is recorded as Ledecestre; the first element of the name, Ligora or Legora, is explained as a Brittonic river name, in a suggestion going back to William Somner an earlier name of the River Soar, cognate with the name of the Loire.
The second element of the name comes from the Latin castrum, reflected in both Welsh cair and Anglo-Saxon ceastre. Based on the Welsh name, Geoffrey of Monmouth proposes a king Leir of Britain as an eponymous founder in his Historia Regum Britanniae. Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back at least two millennia; the native Iron Age settlement encountered by the Romans at the site seems to have developed in the 2nd or 1st centuries BC. Little is known about this settlement or the condition of the River Soar at this time, although roundhouses from this era have been excavated and seem to have clustered along 8 hectares of the east bank of the Soar above its confluence with the Trent; this area of the Soar was split into two channels: a main stream to the east and a narrower channel on the west, with a marshy island between. The settlement seems to have controlled a ford across the larger channel; the Roman name was a latinate form of the Brittonic word for "ramparts", suggesting the site was an oppidum.
The plural form of the name suggests it was composed of several villages. The Celtic tribe holding the area was recorded as the "Coritanians" but an inscription recovered in 1983 showed this to have been a corruption of the original "Corieltauvians"; the Corieltauvians are believed to have ruled over the area of the East Midlands. It is believed that the Romans arrived in the Leicester area around AD 47, during their conquest of southern Britain; the Corieltauvian settlement lay near a bridge on the Fosse Way, a Roman road between the legionary camps at Isca and Lindum. It remains unclear whether the Romans fortified and garrisoned the location, but it developed from around the year 50 onwards as the tribal capital of the Corieltauvians under the name Ratae Corieltauvorum. In the 2nd century, it received a bathhouse. In 2013, the discovery of a Roman cemetery found just outside the old city walls and dating back to AD 300 was announced; the remains of the baths of Roman Leicester can be seen at the Jewry Wall.
Knowledge of the town following the Roman withdrawal from Britain is limited. There is some continuation of occupation of the town, though on a much reduced scale in the 5th and 6th centuries, its memory was preserved as the Cair Lerion of the History of the Britons. Following the Saxon invasion of Britain, Leicester was occupied by the Middle Angles and subsequently administered by the kingdom of Mercia, it was elevated to a bishopric in either 679 or 680. Their settlement became one of the Five Burghs of the Danelaw, although this position was short-lived; the Saxon bishop, fled to Dorchester-on-Thames and Leicester did not become a bishopric again until the Church of St Martin became Leicester Cathedral in 1927. The settlement was recorded under the name Ligeraceaster in the early 10th century. Following the Norman conquest, Leicester was recorded by William's Domesday Book as Ledecestre, it was noted as a city but lost this status in the 11th century owing to power struggles between the Church and the aristocracy and did not become a legal city again until 1919.
Geoffrey of Monmouth composed his History of the Kings of Britain around the year 1136, naming a King Leir as an eponymous founder figure. According to Geoffrey's narrative, Cordelia had buried her father beneath the river in a chamber dedicated to Janus and his feast day was an annual celebration; when Simon de Montfort became Lord of Leicester in 1231, he gave the city a grant to expel the Jewish population "in my time or in the time of any of my heirs to the end of the world". He justified his action as being "for the good of my soul, for the souls of my ancestors and successors". Leicester's Jews were allowed to move to the eastern suburbs, which were controlled by de Montfort's great-aunt and rival, Countess of Winchester, after she took advice from the scholar and cleric Robert Grosseteste. There is evidence that Jews remained there until 1253, enforcement of the banishment within the city was not rigorously enforced. De Montfort however issued a second edict for the expulsion of Leicester's Jews in 1253, after Grosseteste's death.
De Montfort's m
Carnival is a Western Christian and Greek Orthodox festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events occur during February or early March, during the period known as Shrovetide. Carnival involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter and other animal products were not consumed "excessively", their stock was consumed as to reduce waste. Pancakes and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are no longer eaten, individuals have the ability to give up a certain object or activity of desire. Other common features of carnival include mock battles such as food fights.
The term Carnival is traditionally used in areas with a large Catholic presence, as well as in Greece. In Evangelical Lutheran countries, the celebration is known as Fastelavn, in areas with a high concentration of Anglicans and other Protestants, pre-Lenten celebrations, along with penitential observances, occur on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. In Slavic Eastern Orthodox nations, Maslenitsa is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. In German-speaking Europe and the Netherlands, the Carnival season traditionally opens on 11/11; this dates back to celebrations before the Advent season or with harvest celebrations of St. Martin's Day; the Latin-derived name of the holiday is sometimes spelled Carnaval in areas where Dutch, French and Portuguese are spoken, or Carnevale in Italian-speaking contexts. Alternative names are used for local celebrations; the word is said to come from the Late Latin expression carne levare, which means "remove meat". In either case, this signifies the approaching fast.
The word carne may be translated as flesh, producing "a farewell to the flesh", a phrase embraced by certain carnival celebrants to embolden the festival's carefree spirit. The etymology of the word Carnival thus points to a Christian origin of the celebratory period. Other scholars argue that the origin is the festival of the Navigium Isidis, where the image of Isis was carried to the seashore to bless the start of sailing season; the festival consisted of a parade of masks following an adorned wooden boat, called in Latin carrus navalis the source of both the name and the parade floats. The word Carnival is of Christian origin, in the Middle Ages, it referred to a period following Epiphany season that reached its climax before midnight on Shrove Tuesday; because Lent was a period of fasting, "Carnival therefore represented a last period of feasting and celebration before the spiritual rigors of Lent." Meat was plentiful during this part of the Christian calendar and it was consumed during Carnival as people abstained from meat consumption during the following liturgical season, Lent.
In the last few days of Carnival, known as Shrovetide, people confessed their sins in preparation for Lent as well. In 1605, a Shrovetide play spoke of Christians who painted their faces to celebrate the season: From an anthropological point of view, carnival is a reversal ritual, in which social roles are reversed and norms about desired behavior are suspended. Winter was thought of as the reign of the winter spirits. Carnival can thus be regarded as a rite of passage from darkness to light, from winter to summer: a fertility celebration, the first spring festival of the new year. Traditionally, a Carnival feast was the last opportunity for common people to eat well, as there was a food shortage at the end of the winter as stores ran out; until spring produce was available, people were limited to the minimum necessary meals during this period. On what nowadays is called vastenavond, all the remaining winter stores of lard and meat which were left would be eaten, for these would otherwise soon start to rot and decay.
The selected livestock had been slaughtered in November and the meat would be no longer preservable. All the food that had survived the winter had to be eaten to assure that everyone was fed enough to survive until the coming spring would provide new food sources. Several Germanic tribes celebrated the returning of the daylight; the winter would be driven out. A central figure of this ritual was the fertility goddess Nerthus. There are some indications that the effigy of Nerthus or Freyr was placed on a ship with wheels and accompanied by a procession of people in animal disguise and men in women's clothes. Aboard the ship a marriage would be consummated as a fertility ritual. Tacitus wrote in his Germania: Germania 9.6: Ceterum nec cohibere parietibus deos neque in ullam humani oris speciem adsimulare ex magnitudine caelestium arbitrator – "The Germans, however, do not consider it consistent with the grandeur of celestial beings to confin