Stamps: Cheese rolling, gurning and bog snorkelling on new UK stamps

Last updated at 09:05
royal-mail-uk-stampsRoyal Mail
The stamps are a celebration of UK customs and festivals

Royal Mail have released a brand new set of stamps celebrating the UK's weird and wonderful customs.

From bog-snorkelling to cheese-rolling, the eight new stamps show some of the unique and fun customs that are celebrated in the UK.

The Royal Mail worked with an award winning folklorist (someone who looks at unique British traditions and pastimes), Steve Roud, on the stamps.

The stamps can be found in around 7,000 post offices across the UK.

The full list of weird customs include:

Bog snorkelling
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Competitors from around the world take part in the World Bog Snorkelling Championships (from 2015)

Invented in the Welsh town Llanwrtyd Wells in 1976, bog-snorkelling involves competitors swimming through a water-filled trench in a peat bog, with the fastest being the winner.

People come from all over the world to join in the unusual sporting event.

Cheese rolling
Cheese-rolling-competition.Getty Images
Cheese-y does it guys. The aim of this cheese rolling race is pretty simple - to chase a big Double Gloucester down a very steep hill and be the first to grab it!

Chasing a large wheel of cheese down a very steep hill might seem like a silly thing to do, but in Cooper's Hill near Brockworth in Gloucestershire, it's a big deal!

This tradition takes place every Spring Bank Holiday and whoever reaches the bottom of the hill first is the winner!

World Gurning Championship
Tommy Mattinson and other gurnersEgremont Crab fair
These guys are all big on the gurning scene. The man in the middle is Tommy Mattinson, who has bagged the title 15 times!

Gurning comes from the word 'girning' which means 'grinning' or 'snarling'. The championships started at fairs where people would compete to pull the funniest or silliest faces.

Each September, The Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria hosts the World Championships, and people wear a 'Braffin' or horse collar to frame their funny face.

Up Helly Aa
Up Helly AaPA
The men who dress up for the festival are known as guizers. They are led by the Guizer Jahl who can be recognised by the winged helmet he wears.

Up Helly Aa is a Viking-inspired fire festival held in Lerwick in The Shetlands each year.

The event first started in the 1880's, and thousands of people march through the streets with fire torches dressed as Vikings.

A huge Viking longboat is also burnt each year as part of the ceremony.

Burning the Clocks
burning-the-clocksGetty Images
The parade celebrates the passing of time and winter solstice

Created in 1993 by an artist, 'Burning the clocks' is a big parade that takes place in Brighton every year.

Anyone can join the parade, and people make huge lanterns, some with pictures of clocks on them, made of paper which they carry through the town to the beach where they are burnt.

The parade takes place on the shortest day of the year, to symbolise the 'passing of time'.

Horn Dance
horn-dancers-antlersGetty Images
The antlers are thoughts to be around 1000 years old

The horn dance is an ancient tradition which dates back to the 1600's.

It takes place in Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, and six people carry huge pairs of reindeer antlers and others dress as characters like Maid Marian, Fool, Hobby Horse and Bowman to perform a dance to celebrate ancient hunting rites.

'Obby 'Oss
obby-oss-festivalEducation Images
The ancient Celtic festival celebrates the beginning of Summer

'Obby 'Oss is a festival where the costumes of two strange beasts called Osses, which look a bit like horses, are paraded through the streets of the Cornish town of Padstow on May Day, accompanied by a parade of drummers, musicians and dancers.

The tradition dates back to 1803 and is thought to be linked to the Celtic festival Beltane.

Halloween
halloween-parade-londonderryGetty Images
More than over 30,000 people take part in Europe's largest Halloween in Londonderry each year.

Halloween comes from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people used to have a big party to scare away any ghosts or spirits.

The world's biggest Halloween Party is in Derry/Londonderry which welcomes around 80,000 people.

It involves parades, fancy dress, ghost walks, fireworks and has been named as one of the world's best Halloween celebrations.