Held on Old Mans Day on 13th May every year. Garland Day celebrations have taken place in Abbotsbury since the early 1800’s. The Garland Day were first described in publications around 1867.
Garland Day was originally associated with Abbotsbury’s fishing fleet: garlands of flowers made by the fishermen’s children were blessed at the village church in a special service, then hung on the boats and taken out to sea.
This event marked the start of the fishing season, and then the children would dance and play games on the beach to celebrate. The custom changed in the early 1900’s so allowing children of non-fishermen started to take part, due partly to the decline of the local fishing industry. The garlands – one with wild flowers and one with garden flowers – are still made but they are hung on poles, carried from house to house and laid on the local war memorial at the end of the day.