Haxey Hood Game

Haxey Hood Game

January 6
This centuries-old tradition in Haxey, Lincolnshire, England, can be traced back more than 600 years, when Lady Mowbray, whose husband owned a large portion of the parish of Haxey, lost her hood to a sudden gust of wind and 13 local men struggled gallantly to retrieve it. She showed her appreciation by staging an annual reenactment of the event, which is believed by some to be the origin of rugby, an English sport that combines soccer with American football.
The game known as Throwing the Hood, which takes place on Old Christmas Day (January 6) each year, involves a Lord (who acts as umpire and master of ceremonies), 13 Plough-Boggins (presumably named for the way the original 13 men turned up the soil in their efforts to capture the hood), a Fool, and as many others as care to participate.
After several warm-up rounds with sham hoods, the real contest begins. The participants wrestle over a piece of leather stuffed with straw, coins, and other fillings. The winners carry it back to their village pub, where a victory celebration takes place. Later, the Boggins go from house to house, singing and collecting money for the celebration.
CONTACTS:
Scunthorpe Tourist Information Centre
Scunthorpe Central Library
Carlton St.
Scunthorpe, DN15 6TX United Kingdom
44-17-2486-0161; fax: 44-17-2485-9737
www.visitnorthlincolnshire.com
SOURCES:
OxYear-1999, p. 25
References in periodicals archive ?
Examples of songs sung at the Haxey Hood Game in nearby Lincolnshire are also given and I am struck by the similarity of some of the Hudleston's songs to those collected in Lincolnshire by Fred Hamer.