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    By: Steve Roud

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    'The English Year' is a lavishly illustrated day-by-day guide to all the customs and festivals of England, from the national celebrations to herald the New Year down to small local traditions such as the Minehead Hobby Horse or Duck Racing in Oxfordshire.

    As he explores the history and development of these fascinating traditions, eminent folklorist Steve Roud paints vivid pictures of ancient local customs such as cheese-rolling in Randwick and Punkie Night in Somerset, and contemplates why some festivals such as Guy Fawkes' Night and Whitsun have lost much of their previous importance while others, such as Valentine's Day and Hallowe'en, have blossomed astonishingly in recent years.

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