Oyster is one of those foods that you can eat in loads and yet not get fat. They are full of healthy nutrients which can keep you young and fit. So oyster festivals are the places to go for fun if you are concerned about your calorie intake. Eat as much as the oysters you want and you do not have to worry about the calorie intake. So if you are in the UK and loves oysters, why should you miss the Whitstable Oyster Festival this year?
The town of Whitstable has been a famous destination for oysters for hundreds of years. Therefore, its oyster festival is a festival doing justice for its full meaning, a grand celebration of food and games. Whitstable Oyster Festival is a combination of traditional customs and novel concepts so there will be a new item or two to entertain you every year. If you consider participating in the next Whitstable Oyster Festival next year, here is all you want to know.
Friday 27th August 2021 to Monday 30th August 2021
The history of the festival runs back much further than the other oyster festivals, into the Norman days. At that time, Whitstable was a popular and developed fishing port, and the fishers and dredgers of the region had a tradition to celebrate with an annual ceremony of thanksgiving. There is no evidence on how this ceremony was celebrated in the earlier days, but it is assumed that this festival was formally blessing the town, the sea, the fishing fleet, and also the fishermen and dredgers themselves.
This celebration was declared a ‘Holy Day’ and after the formal church ceremony and religious performances, the people of the town spent the rest of the day enjoying the feasts, games, contests, and dancing. Even in the Whitstable Oyster Festivals at present, the Blessing of the Waters is held as a part of the Landing of the Oysters event.
The current Whitstable Oyster Festival was originated with the revival of the local oyster industry, which was almost faded out from society in the 1920s due to diseases and overfishing. Now, this Oyster Festival is an event to promote both the oyster industry and the town of Whitstable. According to the traditions, Whitstable Oyster Festival is starting on the weekend nearest to St James’ Day and is held throughout one weekend. The opening parade on Saturday is the kickstart for the Whitstable Oyster Festival each year.
- LANDING OF THE OYSTERS
Date: Saturday 28th August 2021
Start Time: 14:00 for a 14:30 Landing
Location: East Quay Beach
This is the time to run to the beach as the oysters are arriving. The event is the symbolic kickstart of the Festival. When a load of oysters landed on the beach complete with traditional costumes and yokes is it considered that the Whitstable Oyster Festival for the year has started. The oysters are received by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury and blessed by the clergy of the region.
- OYSTER EATING COMPETITION
Date: Saturday 28th August 2021
Start Time: 13:30
Location: The Harbour Stage
This is the most awaited contest of the Whitstable Oyster Festival as well as in all the other Oyster Festivals. It is the Oyster lovers who come to these oyster festivals and none of them will refuse to show off their skills in slurping down the oysters. You will be offered half a dozen of oysters and half a pint of beer. Make space in your tummy, hold your gag and reflux and let them go down as fast as you can so you can be the champion for the year.
If you are a resident of Whitstable Town, the organization committee kindly requests you to walk to the festival premises to avoid the traffic, parking issues and to reduce emissions. Bus, coach or train is recommended as the easiest mode of transportation for the people who are coming to the Whitstable Oyster Festival from distance areas for the same reasons. Please check the official website https://www.whitstableoysterfestival.co.uk for further information.