Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year Traditions

There's nothing Beaker Folk like so much as a New Year. Indeed, we celebrate New Year at Halloween, then again at Winter Solstice, Chinese New Year, Orthodox New Year - I tell you, if we have a week without a New Year we don't feel like we're trying

But this is the English Secular New Year, so we're not going to miss this one. I'm glad to share with you a selection of our New Year traditions.

Tar barrels - At this end of the Old Year and start of the New, we like to have something to set fire to. So we saw some barrels in half, stick in some tar, set them on fire and float them out on the Duck Pond. We have no idea why we do this.

Firth of Fifth Footing - everybody tries to dance to Genesis's 1973 classic, Selling England by the Pound.  It's not natural, especially with Battle of Epping Forest, but it's tradition so we have to do it.

Throwing the Pumpkin - since we still unaccountably have some pumpkins left over from Samhain, we have the "throwing the pumpkin" competition. Although most marks are awarded for height and distance, you do get bonuses for landing them directly on some-one's head.

Going downhill in a bathtub In this of all years, to celebrate the passing of The Last of the Summer Wine, we will push the Oldest Man in the community downhill in a bathtub one extra time. Since it's dark, we will decorate the bathtub with sparklers. It looks lovely, although sometimes his bobble hat can catch fire. By the way - well done to Burk Kwouk on the OBE.

Rolling about talking gibberish - This tends to happen if we can't keep Hnaef away from the Waggle Dance.

Appling for Bob - we send Bob down the other end of the Orchard and then throw apples at him.  Bob is generally less keen on this than other members of the Community. But he lives with it because taking this part in affairs gets him out of the following tradition.....

...the choosing of the scapegoat - we look for someone a bit weird, ideally a bloke with an anorak, who's never had a proper girlfriend. Then we tell the Daily Mail where he lives. Conviction for something or another is almost inevitable before the next year's end.

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