Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Coconuts at the ready

Yesterday was St George's Day, the closest thing England has to a national day. Traditionally this isn't celebrated much, and there are no great parades and festivities in London like there are, for example, for Chinese New Year and St Patrick's Day. However, in recent years, the Mayor of London has been making an effort to mark the day with a series of events, and one of the events this year involved 5,567 people getting together at Trafalgar Square to participate in a Coconut Orchestra. What on dear earth is a coconut orchestra, I hear you ask. Well, it's when a group of people get pairs of coconut shells and clip-clop them together to a musical tune - in this case, the Monty Python classic Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Apart from being enormous fun, yesterday's giant orchestra smashed the previous record of 1,789 people gathered in one location playing coconuts (set in New York last March) and apparently made it into the Guinness World Records. The attempt was inspired by the 1975 comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which knights pretend to ride horses while porters bang coconut shells together to make the clip-clopping noise of hooves.

Once the record had been broken amongst much cheering, laughter, clapping and coconut clipping, most people stayed on at Trafalgar Square and watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail on a large screen, clip-clopping at the relevant points in the film. It's always exciting to watch a film in the open air, with another few thousand people all laughing and cheering simultaneously, and the coconuts gave it that extra zing. It really was a very enjoyable evening, and I hope that the Mayor continues organising similar events on St George's Day.

By popular demand, I'm posting a couple of the photos that I took yesterday, but here you can see some pictures that capture the atmosphere a lot better than I have managed.


Shionge said...

Absolutely wonderful Tinsie and I'm so glad you share this with us. What a brilliant idea really about the coconuts LOLz...

I remembered Trafalgar Square so well coz we bought our sandwiches and just sitting there with my girls :D

Marg, the Sal. said...

I think I had read somewhere that when Holy Grail was in the works, they tried to budget for real horses, but with their limited finances they couldn't afford them - so they came up with the coconut idea!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tinsie

Proof that I have been reading your blog :)

Luv Reformed Trekkie come blog-reader

Suze x

Tinsie said...

@ Shionge, those sound like happy memories :-) When were you last in London?

@ Marg, that's what I've heard too. Not sure if it's true or not.

@ Suze, you came! you saw! you posted! :-)))))

Γκρινιάρης said...


This coconut thing must have been very funny! And for sure it gave the movie a special effect (maybe the only one of the particular movie, he he!).

Thanks for sharing!

Tinsie said...

Hi there, glad you liked the photos. Indeed, the coconut-clipping soundtrack made the film twice as entertaining. I found myself laughing just listening to the special effects.