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Chimney sweeps celebrate 400-year-old festival in Rochester

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Men dressed as chimney sweeps on stilts take part in the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7, in Rochester, England.

The three day annual Sweeps Festival in Rochester, England dates back 400 years and was originally the one day in the year that the chimney sweeps could afford time off to celebrate the coming of spring.

This year marks the festival's 32nd year since its reintroduction in 1980, with traditional activities including Morris dancers, who parade to Rochester Castle, and a Jack-in-the-Green ceremony.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Traditional chimney sweeper Bryan Pearce, who's family has been sweeping chimneys for over three hundred years, poses for a photograph while taking part in the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7 in Rochester, England.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

People dressed as chimney sweeps push their cart down the high street during the annual Sweeps Festival on May 7.

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