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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 13:15 GMT
Guide book praises common riding
World Party guide
The guide rates Hawick common riding along with the Rio Carnival
Hawick Common Riding has been named in a guide book listing the best parties around the world.

The Rough Guides publication, World Party, describes the Borders event as one of "Britain's best kept secrets".

It praises the event, which "combines the thrills of Pamplona's Fiesta de San Fermin with the concentrated drinking of Munich's Oktoberfest".

The common riding features alongside St Patrick's Day in Dublin as one of the world's finest celebrations.

A spokesperson for the company said the book looked at events all around the world.

Rio Carnival

"Different editors and authors came together and talked about festivals they had been to," she said.

Among the other events to feature are the Rio Carnival, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Palio in Siena.

Strict rules governed their selection with each event having to occur regularly and for more than five years in the same location.

"Ideally, also there should be a significant degree of local support and integration as well as wider cultural resonance," explained the book's main contributor Dave Dakota.

Where else can you get to sample the delightful drink of rum and milk at half past six in the morning?
Dave Dakota
World Party contributor

"Those are pretty much the guiding principals, but frankly if we just think an event is just awesome for one particular reason then it goes in irrespective."

He said the common ridings stood out even in the lofty company of other world festivals.

"They have long, significant histories, are supported with real fervour by local communities and are just amazing fun to be involved with," he said.

"Provided outsiders respect the cultural importance of the event - which is what the World Party book tries to do - in my mind they are some of the best events in the whole book.

"And where else can you get to sample the delightful drink of rum and milk at half past six in the morning?"

Annual celebration

Hawick was rated as the best of the traditional common ridings staged every summer in the Scottish Borders.

It is the first of the Border festivals and celebrates the capture of an English flag from a would-be raiding party in 1514 by the youth of the town.

It also marks the custom of riding the boundaries of the common land.

The first recorded cornet - who leads proceedings - was elected in 1703 and the event has taken place every year since apart from during the two world wars.

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10 Nov 06 |  South of Scotland
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03 May 06 |  South of Scotland
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27 Apr 06 |  South of Scotland

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