Written by Reuters
07 Jan, 2019 | 5:26 pm
Reuters – British village rivals battled it out in mud in a traditional rugby-style game known as “Haxey Hood” on Saturday (January 5).
The game is a boisterous form of the traditional sport, where the scrum — known as “the sway” — manhandle a 3 feet long (approx. 92 centimeters) thick piece of rope covered with leather called “the hood” back to the winners’ favourite public house.
This year the rules were slightly revised after several local pubs closed down, with only one still trading.
Hosted every single January since the early 1800s, “Haxey Hood” is played between the two local villages of Haxey and Westwoodside on the Lincolnshire-Nottinghamshire border in northern England.
It was first conceived following an incident involving the first Lady de Mowbray in the late 13th Century.
Legend has it that while she was out riding, her hood blew away and a dozen farmworkers set off to retrieve it.
Lady de Mowbray was, it’s said, so impressed, that in her will she left a piece of land called the ‘hoodlands’ to the village on condition that they re-enacted the event each year.
The central participants in the game are the fool (whose face is blackened and smeared with red ochre and who wears trousers of sackcloth with coloured patches and a redshirt), 13 boggins (or farm boys), a Lord of the Hood and one King Boggin.
The event begins with a time-honoured ritual in front of the Haxey Hood parish church, where the ceremonial fool jumps up on his personal stone to welcome newcomers.
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