The Twelfth – Orangefest on the Orangemen’s Day

 

Anyone growing up in Northern Ireland will know all about “the Twelfth”.

For anyone that doesn’t, it is an annual Protestant event that started in the early 18th Century by the Orange Order.

The Orange Order being a Protestant fraternal organisation based mainly in Northern Ireland and Scotland that was founded by Freemasons in 1796 in County Armagh.

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Banner of the Orange Order Ballymacrrett District on show for the Orange day marches

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Starting around Easter and culminating on the 12th July the Orange Order parade in what is the papers like to call the marching season.

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Portadown Orangemen of the Orange Order maching to Drumcree Church

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Following the banners of their district the Orangemen, iconically dressed in their bowler hats, white gloves and draped in an orange sash, march with their fife and drum bands playing…

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The Twelfth celebrates the victory by the Protestant king William of Orange over the Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne, near Drogheda, Ireland in 1690.

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William III of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne (painting by Jan Wyck)

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The Twelfth parades can be very controversial in certain parts of Northern Ireland, especially when they march through catholic communities.

Understandably these communities aren’t exactly overjoyed at having the Orangemen to visit.

The Orange Order defend there right to be there by pointing out that they are allowed to march through public streets and believe that as they are on the traditional routes that have always been used why should they have to change. They feel its unfair as they have only more recently become Catholic areas.

Needless to say it often doesn’t end well…

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Orange flames dance in front of the shields of the riot police as Catholics try and break up the a north Belfast Orange Order parade with petrol bombs. (photo from the Associated Press)

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But I am not here to debate the merits of either case, rather I feel inspired to look at the colour ORANGE!

Just like the conflict in the marches, orange is a colour that divides people – You either love it or hate it.

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Orange (photo by Mirari Erdoiza)

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When I think of orange I think first to Autumn with the leaves on the trees turning to gold orange. The end of one cycle signals the beginning of another…

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Orange leaves covering a tree on an Autumn's day

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Which is the essence of  Wabi Sabi – everything will age, change and transform,  so it is only natural to then embrace the beautiful patina of rusted metal…

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Orange rust on barbed wire (photo by Timothy Allen)

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Then I think of the Buddhist monks in their saffron orange robes and I think of humility and simplicity but also an abundance of joy and happiness…

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Buddhist monks in meditation (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti of Getty Images AsiaPac)

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Next the sweet juices of an orange. Bursting with Vitamin C, it screams good health…

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Orange and a healthy dose of Vitamin C

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Orange can have a wonderfully retro vibe which appears playful and fun…

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Super cool "Muscat" wallpaper design in Orange by Miss Print

Retro inspired Orange Kitchen (photo from Interior Arcade)

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This is not a colour you use to hide away but rather to be bold and make a statement.

With it combination of the energy of Red (minus the aggression) with the joy and happiness of Yellow. It produces an invigorating effect that gets your creative juices flowing.

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Designer Jonathan Adler highlights the space with a Pop art blast of Orange (photo by William Waldron care of Elle Decor)

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Vincent Van Gogh says “There is no blue without yellow and without orange

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Bedroom in Arles by Vincent Van Gogh 1888 (First Version)

 

Lakeside by Hunt Slonem (www.huntslonem.com). Artwork

 

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It is highly visible so a great device to draw attention to key features in a bold way. I think it looks amazing when pared with charcoal grey or black to have maximum oomph…

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Bold Orange bathroom design with black highlightsContemporary Kitchen design in a dark grey with Orange highlights (photo from Interior Arcade)

Contemporary Kitchen design in a dark grey with Orange highlights (photo from Interior Arcade)

 

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So I leave it to you to decide if you love it or hate it…

With that in mind its only fitting to end with a walk under the “Orange Coloured Sky”

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