Posts Tagged ‘silence’

Druids Celebrate the Spring Equinox

Sunday, March 20th, 2022

The Spring Equinox in 2022 is apparently at 15:33 today, Sunday, 20 March. While I think we all look forward to Spring, Druids in the UK will be celebrating it with ceremonies in the open air, as they have done for some years. Here are some pictures from the annual celebration by the Druid Order at noon on Tower Hill in 2014.

Druids Celebrate the Spring Equinox

I’ve photographed this ceremony several times over the years, as well as their similar Autumn Equinox ceremony on Primrose Hill, and you can find pictures from other years also on My London Diary. Here is what I wrote about it in 2014, with just a few of the pictures.

Druids celebrate the Spring Equinox

Tower Hill, London. Thu 20 Mar 2014

The Druid Order celebrated the Spring Equinox at noon with a sacred ceremony at Tower Hill, forming a circle in their white robes and celebrating the cycle of nature. They have carried out similar ceremonies for just over a 100 years.

The Druids robed in a hall next to Tower Hill and then processed in single file to the open space, where they formed a circle, with the Head Druid and the banners at the east.

The procession reaches Tower Hill
The long horn is sounded to the east
Is it Peace?

A long horn was carried to the middle of the circle sounded to the four corners of the world and then the sword was held aloft to North South, East and West in turn, pulled loose from its scabbard with the call “Is it Peace?” and on receiving the reply “Peace”, pushed back.

The lady, representing the Earth Goddess Ceridwen then requested permission to enter the circle with her two attendants, and it was granted. They brought a horn containing cider and a plate of seed to the chief druid. The cider was tasted, then carried around the circle with libations being poured onto the earth. The seeds were received and were then distributed around the circle.

The names of companions of the ancient order no longer with us were read out, including that of the artist William Blake and other well-known historical figures. We all observed a minute or two of silence and their was a fairly long address, a message of peace and human understanding.

Druids hold hands and renew their vows

The Druid Order are peace loving and free-thinking and their main aim appears to be to develop themselves through being rather than through intellectual learning. Near to the close of the event, the druids joined hands around the circle and renewed their druid vows. In a final act of the ceremony, four druids came to the centre of the circle and raised the hands in turn to the four points of the compass to proclaim peace.

Peace to the four points of the compass

Everyone present was thanked for coming and an invitation issued to those who want to find out more about the order to attend their regular public meetings. The druids then left the circle in order through a gate made by two of their number and filed away.

You can see many more pictures of the 2014 celebration on My London Diary at Druids celebrate the Spring Equinox.


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DSEI Arms Fair Protests 2015

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

The final protests against the 2015 DSEI arms fair at the Excel Centre on the Royal Victoria Dock in East London took place on 15th September 2015, the day that the arms fair opened. British and foreign warships were lined up alongside the Excel Centre inside which weapons were being sold that would be used to kill people in wars around the globe and to repress, kill and torture in many countries.

East London Against Arms Fairs held a procession around the Royal Victoria Dock floating a wreath oppposite the fair and holding a silence for victims of the arms trade, ending with a Buddhist prayer. They met with two Buddhist monks and supporters and some from the Stop the Arms Fair coalition who had been protesting against the Arms Fair at ExCel over the last week at Royal Victoria DLR station.

The procession was led by a woman wearing white and carrying a white wreath with the message ‘Remember Victims of the Arms Trade’ followed by the East London Against Arms Fair (ELAAF) banner with its dove of peace. It slowly made its way around the west end of the dock and then along its south side until it got close to the end of the dockside path, almost opposite the arms fair.

There was then a ceremony with the wreath being floated on the water of the dock and a two minute silence in memory of those killed by the arms from deals made at the previous fairs and those who will die from the weapons being sold at this DSEi fair. This was followed by a period of prayer by Japanese Buddhist monk Reverend Gyoro Nagase, the guardian of the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park.


As the first protest lefit, another group came marching along the dockside to take their place. Kurdish Youth Organisation Ciwanen Azad UK and Stop the Arms Fair supporters had also marched around the Royal Victoria Dock and were staging a ‘die-in’ and rally opposite the Excel centre.

The Turkish government’s Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporter’s Association is one of the international partners of the DSEi Arms Fair, and sales of their weapons at DSEi help fund the the vicious attacks on the Kurdish population in Turkey. A week earlier a relentless assault by Turkish military and police on the town of Cizre killed many people, including children. Attacks have increased since the pro-Kurdish HDP party passed the 10% threshold in the general elections in June 2015, winning seats in the Turkish parliament.

The sales of weapons at the arms enables the Turkish arms industry to continue its development of new weapons, including new drones, new MPT rifles and the Altay battle tank which will be used to continue the massacre of Kurds.

The protesters set up a display of banners and six Kurds in bloodstained white robes stages a ‘die-in’ on the dockside against the Murderous Turkish state opposite the DSEi arms fair.

Kurds say Stop arms sales to Turkey
Wreath for Victims of the Arms Trade


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.