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Chimney Sweeps Festival In England (PHOTOS)

Posted: 05/09/2012 9:39 am Updated: 05/09/2012 9:39 am

The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester, England dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony.

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  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    A man dressed as chimney sweep on stilts takes part in the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    Morris dancers take a break during the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    Eden Capeling 8, poses for a photograph dressed as a chimney sweep during the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    Morris dancers parade during the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day anual Sweeps Festival in Rochester is a 400 year old traditional celebration held around May day. The festival merges several folk traditions including a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony marking the coming of spring, which leads Morris dancers through the town. The 'Sweeps' refers to one of the few times of the year that chimney sweeps and 'climbing boys,' those who would scramble through the chimneys, would afford the time off to come together for drinks, dancing and merriment such was the demand on their profession at the time. The celebration includes one of the world's largest gathering of Morris dancers who parade through the streets of the town before bringing the festival to a close at Rochester Castle. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the event since it's reintroduction in 1981, after it was cancelled in the Victorian times. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    A man dressed as chimney sweep on stilts takes part in the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    Morris dancers parade during the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    The Tribal Banchees dance troupe take a break outside Rochester Castle while taking part in the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

  • Chimney Sweeps Festival

    Children dance around the maypole during the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, 2012 in Rochester, England. The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring. This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. (Dan Kitwood, Getty Images)

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Filed by Carrie Niland  |