Introduction to Hochtide
This was a rather fun festival held on the second Monday and Tuesday after Easter.
On the Monday, men captured women and released them for money or a kiss. On the Tuesday, the women would tie up the men and demand a payment before setting them free.
Men, dressed as foreigners, would be tied and lead around the town by the women to collect money for the church, this was the most important of the years collections!
The festival may depict a victory over the Danes.
The festivities were banned under Henry VIII but Elizabeth I reinstated the tradition in 1575, today only Hungerford in Berkshire continues the tradition.
Second Monday after, Easter it were,
A two day street fest, for him and for her.
Henry didn't like, disorder or fun,
Lizzy brought it back, along with the bun.
Festive misrule, chaotic and funny,
Best fun of the year, gathering money.
More than at Yule, or any other time,
So much fun until, it became a crime.
We gathered more, for the church this spring tide,
Hauled men through the streets, with their arms well tied.
Better the women, to tie up the men,
Like a conquered band, of Vikings to them.
Parade them through town, collect a penny,
Without some fun, there wouldn't be any.
Men captured and tied, the women to kiss,
And no one then thought, the least wrong in this.
Women captured and tied, the men to keep,
Give us a penny, we let thee off cheap.
Tutti wenches sold, oranges and sweets,
When those buxom lasses, took to the streets.
Tutti men carried, tutti mace pole,
With Orange Scrambler, all out of control.
Wooden staffs topped, with orange and flowers,
Young lads in the street, showing their powers.
We had so much fun, those brave days of yore,
But these days we be, not so immature.
Having fun in the street, being disquiet,
Thee be arrested, causing a riot.
Copyright Andrew Rea 2010