‘Hip hip hooray’: Locals gather to enjoy ancient tradition as the Burryman patrols South Queensferry
Residents of South Queensferry have taken to the streets to catch a glimspe of the Burryman – a curious folk figure covered head to toe in sticky plant heads, with only his eyes and mouth on show.
In a quirky tradition, the annual Burryman’s Day parade sees residents and others in the town guide the Burryman along the streets for up to nine hours or more with cries of “Hip hip hooray, it’s the Burryman’s Day”.
The exact meaning of the Burryman parade has been lost through the years, although it is believed to have been first recorded in the 17th century.
Andrew Taylor was again led from the Stag Head Hotel, where the Burryman traditionally gets ready, having participated in the parade role for nearly a decade.
People stand at either side and a youngster from the town stands in front ringing a bell as he walks between seven and nine miles and is not allowed to speak.
Locals pick burrs in the week leading up to the parade and on Friday one woman had to keep replacing the seeds as they fell from the suit.
Crowds followed behind Mr Taylor as part of the parade with many taking the fallen burrs as good luck.
Kathleen Hamblin and Yvonne Martin helped start his long day walking the town by giving him a nip of whisky – which he had to drink through a straw to get it through the Burryman suit.
He will make more than 20 ports of call before 6pm – and have a dram of whisky on each occasion.