CUCKOO Day was enjoyed by hundreds of people at the weekend – including visitors from Romania.

Misu Ciobanu and his wife Livia witnessed the traditional spring festival in Marsden.

The couple hope to hold a similar event in their home village of Brodina next year.

Cuckoos are part of Romanian tradition. In Brodina there is a song called ‘Cânta cucul bata-l vina de rasuna Bucovina’, which is all about the bird.

Organiser Philip Thompson said the visitors from Eastern Europe enjoyed the festivities.

He said: “They were highly impressed both with Cuckoo Day and with Marsden itself. They saw how you can bring the people of a village together.”

In Marsden Cuckoo Day marks the start of spring. According to local legend the villagers realised that when the bird arrived, so did sunshine.

So they tried to prolong the cuckoo’s stay by building a wall around its nest.

Festivities kicked-off on Friday evening with the two-mile Cuckoo Walk, followed by a folk night at Riverhead Brewery Tap.

On Saturday hundreds of people enjoyed music, crafts, children’s entertainment, morris and maypole dancing, circus skills, a display of classic motorcycles and a duck race.

Marsden Silver Prize Band performed the Cuckoo March for the first time during a procession on Saturday.

There was a special service yesterday at Marsden United Church.

Mr Thompson said: “It was exceedingly successful. To see the smiles on the children’s faces was the most important thing - that summed up what it’s about.”

Mr Thompson believes Cuckoo Day is an important part of life in Marsden.

He said: “It keeps an old tradition alive and it brings a lot of people into Marsden to see the beauty of the surrounding countryside and of the village itself.”