The sun came out once again for Tynwald Day this year, with thousands gathering in St John’s to celebrate all things Manx.

Ceremonial marches and church services were accompanied by stalls, activities and food vendors.

We joined the throngs of people to ask them what they thought of the national day.

Reuben Harris, from Ballakilpheric, said he thinks it’s a very important part of the Isle of Man’s heritage.

Reuben Harris
Reuben Harris from Ballakilpheric (Callum Staley)

He said: ‘We are different and we are independent, and it’s a really good place to grow up and live in. I think it’s important that we take one day a year to come together and appreciate that.

‘It’s really interesting to see the stalls here too. All these people have their own side-hustle and they’re all really creative.

‘I’ve seen printing, crochet, cards and so on. I think it’s inspiring to see these people sharing their talent with others, and they can do this through the national celebration of Tynwald Day.’

Colin Edwards, from Port Erin, said he sees the day as a ‘traditional celebration of being Manx’.

Colin Edwards
Colin Edwards from Port Erin (Callum Staley)

He added: ‘It’s fantastic to see all the young families enjoying themselves and it’s just such a lovely island occasion. I think it’s vital that we come together and celebrate our heritage.

‘I moved here to teach in 1970 and have lived here ever since. I feel Manx now as I’ve lived here more than anywhere else and both of my sons were born in the island. It’s a wonderful place to live and I don’t think people value it enough sometimes.

‘I think it’s important that we don’t lose what we have, especially our Victorian heritage which is wonderful. We lose that at our peril.’

Robert Cain and Aalin Clague, from the Manx band ‘Clash Vooar’, were set to perform in the Global Village at 12pm but a power outage delayed them until later in the afternoon.

Robert Cain and Aalin Clague enjoying the global village at Tynwald Day
Robert Cain and Aalin Clague enjoying the global village at Tynwald Day (Callum Staley)

Talking about the day, Aalin said: ‘It’s a unique opportunity for everyone to get together.

‘If you’re involved with cultural stuff then you’re quite pre-occupied and don’t get to enjoy the stalls and activities, but once we’ve performed we’ll go and see it all.’

Robert added: ‘There’s all different aspects to it - the official ceremony, the fair, the Global Village too. It’s a reasonable representation of island life.’

Heading down to the Viking Village as part of the day’s events, we spoke to Viking Hroerekr Alvirsson - real name Rod Bower from Skipton - while he was creating glass beads and carving wood.

Viking Hroerekr Alvirsson (Rod Bower) from Skipton
Viking Hroerekr Alvirsson (Rod Bower) from Skipton (Callum Staley)

Speaking about Tynwald Day, Hroereker said: ‘It’s an important day for the island. This is the eighth time I’ve been over for it! It’s excellent and it’s traditional. I just think it’s great.

‘The Viking Village is super. The venue is really peaceful and it has a really special feel to it. Everybody who visits really gets into it and enjoys it.’