On the day
The day in Hallaton begins with a parade watched by hundreds of people, take part and celebrate this unique sporting tradition
This is followed by a special service in St Michael & All Angels church. In the early afternoon, the Hare Pie is spread on the ground at a dip at the top of Hare Pie Bank, which is possibly the site of an ancient temple. Each bottle is then tossed in the air three times, signalling the start of the competition. Each team tries to move the bottles, on a best-of-three basis, across two streams one mile (1.6 km) apart, by any means possible. See the full itinerary for the day here.
The contest is a rough one, with teams fighting to move the bottles over such obstacles as ditches, hedges, and barbed wire. Broken bones are not unheard-of, and emergency services are generally on standby.
After the game, participants and spectators return to the village of Hallaton where some of the most prominent players live. Those players who put in an especially good effort (for example, carrying a barrel across the goal stream or holding on to a barrel for quite some time) are helped up onto the top of the ten-foot-tall, and the opened bottle is passed up for them to drink from before being passed around the crowd.
The festive day normally draws to a close with participants and spectators retiring to pub for drink and banter.