Parades & Celebrations 

The Apprentice Boys’ main celebrations are focused in the city of Londonderry and primarily within the historic city walls

Parades & Celebrations

The two main celebrations held in the city, commemorate the start of the Siege in December, “Shutting of the Gates” and the breaking of the Siege in August, “Relief of Londonderry”.

The traditions associated with these celebrations have been sustained for many years through successive generations.

Details of Parent and Branch Clubs upcoming parades, celebrations, events and fund raising activities.

Shutting of the Gates

Held each year on the first Saturday in December, the Shutting of the Gates parade commemorates the actions of the 13 apprentices who shut the City’s gates in 1688 and set in place the events which led to the Great Siege.

The day concludes with the traditional burning of an effigy of the siege traitor Colonel Robert Lundy.

Relief of Londonderry

The principal event in the Apprentice Boys calendar and believed to be the largest parade in Northern Ireland. The Relief Celebrations take place annually on the second Saturday in August, and celebrate the ending of the Siege and the retreat of the Jacobite army.

Before the main procession, the Parent Clubs parade the circuit of the walls to commemorate the 10,000 defenders that perished during the 105 day siege.

A floral tribute is placed at the Cenotaph in memory of members that died in recent conflicts and a thanksgiving service is attended in St. Columb’s Cathedral, to give thanks to God for the deliverance of the city.