Annual ox roast celebrates medieval tradition at Houghton Feast

The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran and Mayoress Carol Curran tuck into roast Ox sandwiches at the Houghton Feast
The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran and Mayoress Carol Curran tuck into roast Ox sandwiches at the Houghton Feast
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Meat-lovers took a bite out of one of an ancient festival’s greatest traditions.

Mayor of Sunderland Barry Curran was on hand to take the first cut of the annual roasting of the ox as part of this year’s Houghton Feast.

The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran cuts the roast Ox at the Houghton Feast, with Rotary Club members, left to right, Ashley Burland, Derek Moss, and president Bernard Blacklock.

The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran cuts the roast Ox at the Houghton Feast, with Rotary Club members, left to right, Ashley Burland, Derek Moss, and president Bernard Blacklock.

The 10-day festival is running until Sunday and features a host of attractions including a fairground, church events, carnival parade, a tattoo with pipes and drums, shows, community events, exhibitions, talks and tours, and fireworks.

The ancient festival dates back to the 12th century when it originated as Michaelmas, the dedication service of the parish church of St Michael and All Angels.

Coun Curran said: “This fantastic event dates back almost 900 years and is an integral part of the community here in Houghton.

“This year’s feast is themed around light and the logo, designed by a local school pupil, proudly features a miner’s lamp, representing the unforgettable mining heritage of the area and the communities that lived here.”