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The Haxey Hood

​The Ancient game of Haxey Hood held in the North Lincolnshire village of Haxey every year on the 6th* of January 

*(Except when the 6th falls on a Sunday)​​




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One of the oldest local traditions in England, probably dating back to the fourteenth century, the Haxey Hood takes place on January 6th each year at Haxey, on the Southern border of the Isle of Axholme, in North Lincolnshire. At around noon the Lord of the Hood and his Boggins begin a tour of the four public houses in the parish, The Carpenters Arms Westwoodside, the Kings, Low Street Haxey, The Loco and the Duke William, both Church street Haxey, singing three traditional songs in each establishment, Farmers Boy, John Barleycorn and Drink Old England Dry (Canons). They then proceed to a mounting stone outside St Nicholas parish Church from which the Fool makes a speech of welcome, during which damp straw is placed at the foot of the stone and lit. This generates a certain amount of smoke and is known as "Smoking the Fool", but it is only a watered down version of the ancient ritual which involved suspending the fool over a bonfire of smoking straw. This practice was abandoned years ago after an incident in where someone forgot to damp the straw and the Fool caught fire.

Hood Breakfast

Painting the Fools face in the Carpenters Arms.

Up to the Mounting Stone

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At the end of the Fool's speech, he urges the crowd on by proclaiming: 

"oose agen oose, toon agen toon,

If a man meets a man, knock

' im doon, But d’oant `ot’ im",

Which translates into 'House against House,

Town against Town, if you meet a man, knock him down but don't hurt him'.

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