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700 Year Old Haxey Hood

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  • 700 Year Old Haxey Hood

    For most people they probably have never heard of the Haxey Hood.
    This began 700 years ago when Lady of the Manor, Lady Mowbray lost the hood (bonnet) to her cape. The farmers fought for the honour of returning her hood.
    Fast forward to the present day. The battle is held on top of the hillside above Haxey village on every 6th January. Not a hood as in the original item, but replaced with a more durable leather cylinder.
    Before the Haxey Hood begins The Fool (a man who starts the ceremonial preceedings), is smoked out (set on fire), then begins with a speech that ends with the Haxey Hoods most notorious starting words of:

    Hoose agen Hoose,
    Toon Agen Toon ,
    If a man meets a man,
    Knock 'im doon
    But do'ant 'ot im'

    Old Lincolnshire way of speaking, but translated it means:

    House against house,
    Town against town,
    If you meet a man,
    Knock him down,
    But don't hurt him.

    Hundreds of people join in what is called the Sway, everyone is trying to get the Hood. It can last for several hours, until the Hood can be presented to the landlord of one of the two pubs. The landlord must be able to take the Hood without stepping from the pub's premises. The successful pub will keep it for a year.

    I've been to the Haxey Hood and all I can tell you is that it is total mayhem, but fun too.

    The Fool's Speech:


    Here is The Sway:
    Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

  • #2
    Looks like a giant scrum!!!!!!!

    How does the "hood" get loose and handed to one person???

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ehp View Post
      Looks like a giant scrum!!!!!!!

      How does the "hood" get loose and handed to one person???
      Ah! The people of Lincolnshire love nothing better than a drink and a punch up. With the Haxey Hood, we get to do it legally and free.

      The hood gets shoved around in the mass of people (The Sway), until the Sway breaks down (people collapsing to the ground). When the Sway breaks down, people have to be dug out of the muddy ground by the other competitors. It's kind of like a safety valve to protect from serious injury, or worse.

      The Sway keeps going with the Hood just being held, the person is actually pushed around grasping the Hood. It's the sheer mass of people that are moving person & Hood as one.
      Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

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