Page last updated at 20:01 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 21:01 UK

Crowds at island's Tynwald Day

Tynwald Day 2009
Hundreds gathered for the traditional ceremony

Large crowds of people attended the annual Tynwald Day ceremony on the Isle of Man.

Known as Midsummer's Court, the historic day dates back to 1417 when the island's parliament was first codified on Tynwald Hill.

Joined by the Deemsters, judges on the Isle of Man, the island's leaders listened to the new laws they have made in the past year.

The day is also a chance for people to air their grievances to politicians.

During the ceremony the lieutenant governor was preceded by the sword-bearer, who wears a scarlet uniform and bears the Sword of State.

Blunt sword

The Sword of State probably dates to the 15th Century and may have been made for Sir John Stanley.

The sword, which is blunt for safety reasons, includes the Manx triskelion - the traditional "three legs" symbol - which also appears on the Manx flag.

Members of the House of Keys and of the Legislative Council were also in attendance, with the speaker of the House of Keys wearing a wig and black robes with gold decorations.

Similarly, the President of Tynwald wears a wig and blue robes with silver decorations and his robes also display the three legs symbol.

Aside from the formal proceedings, Manx residents use the occasion to gather with friends and family.


Crowds at traditional Tynwald Day

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