Moonrakers return to Slaithwaite February 18, 2023

The 2023 Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival The 2023 Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival Moonraking Festival illuminationsSlaithwaite Moonraking Festival lanternsThe moon is pulled out of the canalLanterns are paraded through SlaithwaiteA village tradition returned for the first time since 2017 on February 18, 2023 as Slaithwaite in the Colne Valley staged its Moonraking Festival.

Celebrations of the village's old legend of The Moonrakers have been held for more than 30 years.

The story is one of illegal liquor being hidden many moons ago in the early years of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which runs through the village. The culprits were found by militia trying to fish it out with a rake but escaped arrest by saying they were raking out the moon, the reflection of which could be seen in the canal.

The legend was celebrated with a ceremonial raking of a moon from the canal and a Saturday evening lantern parade around the village. Lantern workshops were held in Slaithwaite in the week running up to the parade.


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