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Bēhance


  • The Festival starts with the marching of a giant hare pie from one end of the village to Hallaton's church at the other. The march consists of two authenticity dressed leaders, one male who holds the hare marching pole, which back in original time actually held a dead hare, and one female who issues bread to the crowds. Behind them is the hare pie and behind the pie follows the 3 small barrels which contain beer, these are the actual 'bottles' the two villages will fight over in a rules free scrum later. Once the march has reached the church, Hallaton’s vicar blesses the pie and great handfuls of it are thrown into the crowd. This was original done as the entire village would scrap together to afford to produce a hare pie and so it would then be shared with everyone. Afterwards another march takes place, where the vicar now takes the lead and heads to the village green where the 3 barrels are blessed with ribbons, ready for the scrum. The Bottle Kicking contest between Hallaton and Medbourne can now commence. The two village teams face each other at Hare Pie Bank and fight over the 3 small beer barrels, which are released in turn and the teams attempt to roll or carry them to their village boundary. As the scrum is rules-free, can cover miles of land and can last hours into the night the whole event can be extremely bloodthirsty, and many injuries can occur. Both teams share the beer contained within the final cask when it's all over, enjoying beer that has been shaken and warmed over hours.
    In 1790, the church tried to ban the event because of its pagan origins. However due to graffiti which appeared on the vicarage wall: “No pie, no parson," the church joined them.