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Belfast Orange Order March Live Web Cam Stream

World Events, July , Belfast Orange Order March
 

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Orange walks are a series of parades held annually by members of the Orange Order during the summer in Northern Ireland, to a lesser extent in Scotland, and occasionally in England, the Republic of Ireland, and throughout the Commonwealth. These typically build up to the 12 July celebrations which mark Prince William of Orange's victory over King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Although the term 'march' or 'parade' is widely used in the media, the Order prefers terms such as 'walk' or 'demonstration'.

The 'marching season' generally refers to the months April to August in Northern Ireland and includes marches by groups such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Apprentice Boys of Derry, and the Royal Black Institution as well as the Orange Order. The Orange Order however, is by far the most prolific marching group. Typically each Orange Lodge will hold its own march at some point before the 12th of July, accompanied by at least one marching band. On the 12th of July each district will hold a larger parade consisting of all the lodges in that district, sometimes with the addition of lodges from outside Northern Ireland. This is particularly the case with the Belfast district, whose parade commonly features several Scottish lodges and often some from other countries. In most districts the location of the parade will vary from year to year, rotating around suitable towns. Belfast is an exception, keeping more or less the same route for many decades. The only major parade after the Twelfth is on the last Sunday in October, when lodges celebrate Reformation Day by parading to church.

Parading Orangemen usually wear dark suits, although in particularly warm weather they may dispense with the jacket. Until recently bowler hats were commonly worn but this is more unusual now. Walkers will wear V-shaped orange collarettes (often inaccurately known as sashes) bearing the number of their lodge and often badges showing degrees awarded within the institution, and positions held in the lodge. Some lodge officers also wear elaborate cuffs, and many walkers wear white gloves, although this is less common than it used to be. Most lodges carry at least one flag, of which the most common is the Union Flag. Other commonly carried flags include the Ulster Banner, the Flag of Scotland and the Orange Order flag. Lodges will generally also carry a banner, which will include the name and number of the lodge, and usually depicts William of Orange on at least one side. Other popular banner subjects include deceased lodge members, local landmarks, and the Bible with a Crown.

Orange walks were once common throughout the island of Ireland, especially on the 12th of July. However, since partition those in the Republic of Ireland have dwindled in number, partly because of local antagonism and partly because of the decline in the Protestant population of the Republic. The last walk in Dublin was in 1937 and the only remaining walk in the Republic takes place at Rossnowlagh, County Donegal, near the border with Northern Ireland. Orange walks continue in in Scotland, across the country, but overwhelmingly concentrated in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and West Lothian. The walks have on occasion been associated with sectarian behaviour on the part of spectators

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