The "Return to the Ridings" is a celebration of the riding of the boundaries that has taken place for centuries, in total 11 towns in the Scottish Borders use horses for the traditional ride out and the festivals that surround these ride outs are also steeped in tradition and a celebration of borders history.
Dates for Common Ridings and Festivals 2012
3- 10th June - Hawick Common Riding Colour Bussin 7th , Common Riding Friday 8th
June West Linton Whipman
10-15thJune Selkirk Common Riding Common Riding Friday15th
17-24th June Peebles Beltane Festival Day Saturday 23rd
17-24th June Melrose Festival Crowning Thursday 21st/ Day Saturday 23rd
22-30th June Galashiels Braw Lads Gathering Braw Lad's Day Saturday 30th
Jethart Callants Festival Festival day 13th July,
1-7th July Duns Summer Festival
15-21st July Kelso Civic Week Colour Bussin Wednesday 18th July
29th July-4th August Lauder Common Riding Common Riding Saturday 4th
6th-12th August Coldstream Civic Week Flodden Thurday 9th
8-16th June Yetholm Festival
July Eyemouth Herring Queen TBC
27th July Langholm Common Riding
Earlston Civic Week TBC
22-28th Musselburgh Festival Sashing Wednesday 25th July / Day 28th
12-21st Innerleithen St Ronans Game Cleakin Friday 20th
*Morebattle ride out 24th June, Southdean 30th , Redeswire 7th July
Dates for festivals and common ridings will be up dated when confirmed.
Common Ridings can be traced back to the 13th and 14th centuries when the border lands were in constant upheaval during the long wars with England and because of the tribal custom of plunder and cattle thieving, known as reiving (the ancient word for robbing) that was commonplace amongst the major Borders families.
In such lawless times, townspeople would ride their boundaries, or 'marches', to protect their common lands and prevent encroachment by neighbouring landlords. Long after they ceased to be essential, the ridings continued in commemoration of local legend, history and tradition. Archive pictures courtesy of the "Heritage hub", Hawick.