BBC News | Northern Ireland | Understanding Northern Ireland
The more than 2,600 traditional, Protestant marches that take place in Northern Ireland are at the core of unionism and loyalism.
I wish this meant finis, but of course it doesn't.
The parades take place from Easter until September. Orange Order members, wearing bowler hats and orange sashes, walk through the streets of almost every town carrying large banners. They are often accompanied by pipe or flute bands.
...The parades are perceived by many in the nationalist community as a threat.
According to academics Neil Jarman and Dominic Bryan who published a recent report on parade culture: "Each parade which is challenged is a symbolic threat to Protestant security and the Unionist position. Each parade that passes through a nationalist area is a restatement of the dominance of the Protestant community and the inferiority of nationalist rights."
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