Annual Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble

Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble, Annual

Between March 23 and April 26; Easter Monday
This 700-year-old event is the highpoint of the local calendar in the small village of Hallaton in Leicestershire, England. Opposing teams from Hallaton and the neighboring town of Medbourne scramble to maneuver two out of three small wooden beer kegs across a goal line in a game that has been described as being "unsurpassed for sheer animal ferocity." The chaos on the field may have something to do with the fact that players drop out of the game from time to time and have "a pint."
The event begins when the local rector blesses the Hare Pie—originally made of hare but now of beef. After handing out slices to some of the villagers, he scatters the remainder on the rectory lawn, where people scramble for it. Then comes the contest for the beer-filled kegs.
Where did these activities originate? According to legend, a village woman was crossing a field when she was attacked by a bull. A running hare diverted the bull's attention and she escaped. She bequeathed a field to the town in gratitude. The connection between the legend and the modern festivities is vague.
Hallaton Village Museum
Hog Ln.
Hallaton, Leicestershire LE16 8UE United Kingdom
Harborough District Council, Council Offices
Adam & Eve St.
Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7AG United Kingdom
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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