People in Northern Ireland annually celebrate Orangemen's Day to commemorate the Battle of Boyne, which occurred on Ireland’s east coast in 1690. It is a bank holiday on or after July 12 and often features marches. This day is known as "Orangemen's Day", "Orange Day", "the Glorious Twelfth" or just "the Twelfth".
What do people do?
In many towns in
Northern Ireland, marches or walks are held by organizations with a Protestant
orientation. The marching season lasts from April until August but the Glorious
Twelfth (of July), or Orangemen's Day, is particularly important. Many marches
are organized by Lodges of the Orange Order and are accompanied by a marching
Participants in the
walks, or marches, often wear dark suits, although they may remove their
jackets if it is hot. Traditionally, they also wore black bowler hats and white
gloves, although these are not as common now. The participants also wear
collarettes. This type of collarette is made from a long thin piece of cloth,
which is draped around the neck of the wearer and joined to form a “V” shape at
the front. Many collarettes are made from orange cloth, although there may be
other colors. The collarettes bear the number of the lodge that the wearer
belongs to and a range of badges showing the person’s positions in or degrees
from the lodge.
Many lodges carry
at least one flag during the marches. This is normally the Union Flag,
sometimes known as the Union Jack, although some carry Scottish, Ulster or
Orange Order flags. Many lodges also carry one or more banners. These display
the name and number of the lodge on one side. The other side often displays
images of William of Orange, deceased lodge members, local landmarks or the
bible with a crown.