Oak Apple Day (England) Celebrates
An oak apple is also known as an oak gall. It is caused by the larvae of a cynipid wasp. They are so called because the gall looks a little like an apple.
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Oak Apple DayOak Apple Day or Royal Oak Day falls on 29th May and is the anniversary of the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne, which took place in 1660.
The Oak Apple Day celebration was started in 1660 when King Charles II was invited back as our King after 11 years of “Puritan” rule by Cromwell and his son (1649 - 1660). During that period no singing, dancing, theatre or any public frivolity including colourful fashionable clothes was allowed! Imagine that in today’s society. The King entered London on his 30th birthday and this day was fixed as a holiday. He was not actually crowned until 23rd April 1661. It is called Oak Apple Day to commemorate the King’s successful evasion of the Roundheads by hiding in an Oak Tree.
The 29th May was one of the few public holidays the majority of ordinary working people had as relief from continual 7 days toil per week! This public holiday lasted from 1660 to 1859. The day is still celebrated in a very few villages in the country.
Here's a date for your diary: 29th May, or Oak Apple Day as it is in Great Wishford near Wilton.
This special day is still celebrated in the village and perpetuates an ancient right to collect firewood in nearby Grovely Wood.