Caking Night

Caking Night
Caking Night by Homer Sykes
Currently in an exhibition at Tate Britain

“Caking Night in Dungworth (1974) was shot in the Royal Hotel, Dungworth, Yorkshire, a small village on the outskirts of Sheffield. The “caking” usually took place on 1 November. (It was a local tradition associated with All Souls’ Day, where “soul cakes” were offered to poor Christian neighbours.) Competitors concealed their identity by wearing a mask or fancy dress, which by tradition had to be of local significance. Having paraded silently from lounge to public bar and back again so their voices didn’t give their identity away, the competitors went upstairs to be judged. In this picture the judging had taken place and one participant, still disguised, was supping a pint of beer through a straw. I liked the neat surreal nature of the disguise. His gloves contrasted with the couple in their woollen jumpers, slacks and pointy collars. Caking night no longer takes place.” (source)

It reminds me a bit of Newfoundland Mummers, whom I find just as much intriguing.

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