Hare Pie Scramble and Bottle Kicking

Hare Pie Scramble and Bottle Kicking is a traditional event held on the Easter Monday in the English village of Hallaton, Leicestershire. The event starts with the Hare Pie Procession from the local Fox Inn to St. Michael’s Church. The procession includes several characters. It is lead by a man dressed in green who carries a pole with a metal hare on its top. He is accompanied by a woman in the ancient clothes. She holds a basket full of penny loaves. Penny loaf (bun) used to be a common English bread which was sold at one old penny when there were 240 pence to the pound. A big hare pie is carried by two women.

Hare Pie Procession in Hallaton
Hare Pie Procession in Hallaton

They are followed by three men in football t-shirts. Each of them a carries a bottle above his head. Just behind them there is a band with bagpipes and drums. In front of the church the pie is cut and blessed. Slices are shared among the crowd. The procession then moves to the cross where penny loaves are broken and given to those gathered there.

The next station in this procession is a hill next to the village. This hill is a place where a special football match is organized. The thing that makes this match rather unusual is a fact that the bottles (small beer barrels) are used as ball. The match is played between Hallaton and Medbourne. Everyone interested can be part of the Medbourne team, while the Hallaton one only includes people from the village. Teams participating try to take the barrel across two streams. Numerous obstacles like ditches or hedges stand on their way. The winner is a team who first has two victories.