"Our little nation is the only Norse nation now on earth that can shake hands with the days of the Sagas, and the Sea-Kings. Then let him who will laugh at our primitive ceremonial. It is the badge of our ancient liberty, and we need not envy the man who can look on it unmoved".
The observer at St. John's on 5th July, the Manx National Day, watches a ceremony which has continued unchanged, except in detail, for more than 1,000 years. The annual outdoor sittings of Tynwald, the Manx Parliament, date back to the Viking settlements which began in the eighth century of the first millennium AD. No other parliament in the world has such a long unbroken record.
The Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom, but a Crown Dependency. Her Majesty The Queen is acknowledged as Lord of Mann. King George VI was the first British Sovereign ever to preside at St. Johns, in July 1945, and Her Majesty The Queen presided in 1979 when the Millennium of Tynwald was celebrated. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales presided on Tynwald Day 2000 as her representative. See more
Each year on Tynwald Day, which is usually celebrated on July 5th, Tynwald Court participates at the Tynwald Day Ceremony at St John's. After a religious service in the Royal Chapel, the members of Tynwald process to Tynwald Hill, one of the ancient open air sites of Tynwald. Following the proceedings on Tynwald Hill, presided over by the Lieutenant Governor, the members of Tynwald return to the Royal Chapel where a formal sitting of Tynwald takes place.
Promulgation of the Acts
By statute, each Act of Tynwald must be promulgated on Tynwald Hill within eighteen months of enactment or it ceases to have effect. Promulgation of the Acts takes place on Tynwald Day and the promulgation is certified at the sitting of Tynwald at St John's.
Petition for Redress
Any person may approach Tynwald Hill on Tynwald Day and present a Petition for Redress. If the Petition is in accordance with the Standing Orders of Tynwald, any Member of Tynwald may subsequently request that Tynwald consider the substance of the petition. Matters are indeed redressed by this simple but ancient procedure which can lead directly to the enactment of legislation.