Tradition where men dress as crows and dance through the streets in village less than an hour from Manchester

England is home to many weird and wonderful village traditions — whether that be morris dancing, a bonfire parade, or chasing a roll of cheese down a very steep hill.

However, one of the lesser known small-town traditions is right on Greater Manchester’s doorstep, CheshireLive reports .

Every July, a group of men dressed as crows circle around a scarecrow and flap their wings in a choreographed dance at local fairs in Northwich.

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The men — whose identities are kept anonymous — are known as the Moulton Crows, and were seen as the highlight of the Moulton Town Fair.

Moulton is a small village of around 3,000 people in between Northwich and Winsford.

As part of the dance, the crows dance around a scarecrow — also somebody in costume — before the scarecrow and a crow are ‘shot and killed’ by a local farmer.

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Undeterred, the crows continue their ritualistic dance around their bodies before leaving the stage.

The dance began way back in the 1920s when a group of local laid-off salt workers formed the group to dance at local fairs across Cheshire to raise money and give it back to their community.

The crows dance through the streets as part of the celebrations

Due to the pandemic, dances were cancelled for the last two years but this year the crows will be returning in a smaller, more manageable event at the Moulton British Legion car park & St Stephen’s Church Hall Green on August 29.

All proceeds will go towards the church and future events.

A spokesperson for the Crows said: “The Crow dance is a strange, if not unique, traditional dance which takes place to entertain all who attend called ‘The Origins of the Cornfield’ or better known as the ‘Crow Dance’.

“The history of the dance dates back to the 1920’s when redundant Salt workers devised a dance to take part in dance competitions at local village fetes where there was prize money awarded to the winners.

The festival returns later this month

“The Crows became very successful winning many competitions where any prize money was brought back to the village and shared out amongst the villagers.

“Today any funds raised by the Crows are distributed amongst village charities & groups, but the identities of all the “Crows” must remain a mystery!”

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