The Twelfth (also called The Glorious Twelfth or Orangemen's Day) is a yearly Protestant celebration held on 12 July. It originated in Ireland during the 18th century. It celebrates the Glorious Revolution (1688) and victory of Protestant king William of Orange over Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne (1690). Members of the Orange Order and Protestant marching bands hold large parades throughout Northern Ireland and, to a lesser extent, in other parts of the world where Orange lodges have been set up. Streets are also decorated with British flags and bunting. The Twelfth is a public holiday in Northern Ireland. While it is a Protestant celebration, not all Northern Irish Protestants celebrate it, whether due to political or cultural reasons or indifference.
In Ulster, where roughly half the population is Protestant and half Catholic, The Twelfth has been accompanied by violence since its beginning. Many Catholics and Irish nationalists see the Orange Order and its marches as sectarian, triumphalist and supremacist. The Order's political links to unionism has also caused tension around Twelfth celebrations. Violence related to The Twelfth in Northern Ireland worsened during the 30-year ethno-political conflict known as The Troubles. The Drumcree conflict is perhaps the most well-known dispute involving Orange marches. However, attempts have recently been made to downplay the political aspects of the marches and present the Twelfth as a cultural, family-friendly event at which tourists are welcome. In Belfast, for example, it has been re-branded as Orangefest.
Famous quotes containing the word twelfth:
“The twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve lords a-leaping.”
—Unknown. The Twelve Days of Christmas (l. 8991)