It’s Punkey Night Tonight!

…well actually it was last night.

One of the many things I love about living in a village is the way people come together to celebrate traditions. Every year on the last Thursday of the month the children and families of Hinton St George celebrate ‘Punkey Night’.

A long time ago (I’m not exactly sure when) at the end of the harvest, men folk would go to Chiselborough Fair to sell their agricultural wares. This would result in a celebration of sorts involving copious amounts of local brew. When the men folk didn’t return, the women of the village made lanterns out of mangolds (there’s a good wartime crop) and went out to look for their hubbies.

Now that’s what I call devotion – personally I would have left them to their own devices, probably resulting in an intimate meeting with a Somerset ditch, but that wouldn’t have resulted in this beautiful evening now would it?!

In this day and age the occasion is marked by children carving their own lanterns out of mangolds and forming a procession through the village stopping off at the local pub for the best local pumpkin to be judged.

….does anyone else feel like they’re in a Charles Dickens novel?

Led by a colourful story teller called Sarah, the procession stops at intervals to sing the Punkey Night song which goes something like this:

‘It’s Punkey Night tonight, it’s Punkey Night tonight
Adam and Eve wouldn’t believe, it’s Pubkey Night tonight
‘It’s Punkey Night tonight, it’s Punkey Night tonight
Give us a candle, give us a light, it’s Punkey Night tonight’

Everyone ends up at the village hall for tea and judging.

Thanks for Sheridan and co for keeping this beautiful tradition alive. I feel like I have received a giant hug of Autumnal loveliness

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