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Haxey Hood



United Kingdom - Haxey


From: 2016.01.06 To: 2016.01.06



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This small but cherished tradition dates back to the 14th century. This crazy game is hard to describe; you have to participate in it at least once in a lifetime. In a nutshell, it looks like a game of rugby except for the unlimited number of participants and a very limited number of rules. A leather tube (or the “hood”) is pushed by the crowd to one of the four pubs. It then remains there until the following year. The game originated with Lady de Mowbray, whose silk riding hood got blown away by the wind. A bunch of farm workers noticed it and started chasing her hood. One of the farmers finally caught it; however, being too shy to return it to Lady de Mowbray himself he asked another person to do it for him. She called the person who handed her the hood a “Lord,” while the shy farmer got a title of a “Fool.” Admiring the actions of the farmers she donated lots of land and only requested for the act to be re-enacted the following year. Today the tradition starts with a tour of the participating venues, where you receive free drinks, and can sing folk songs. Around 2:30 PM, the Fool, who leads the tour, delivers his speech, which always ends with “Hoose agen hoose, toon agen toon, if a man meets a man nok 'im doon, but doant 'ot 'im” (translation: “House against House, Town against Town, if a man meets a man, knock him down but don’t hurt him”). And then the chase begins.

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