Saturday, October 18, 2008

Horn Fair, Charlton, near London, England

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
The Horn Fair was held for three days annually from today, St Luke's Day, and was named after the custom of carrying horns and wearing them. A foreign traveller in 1598 wrote that there was at Ratcliffe, nearby, a long pole with ram's horns upon it, representing "wilful and contented cuckolds". The horned man, or Green Man, was a representation of the ancient horned god, Herne (who derived from the Celtic horned god Cernunnos), and it is interesting to note that the fair, now held at Hornfair Park, was formerly held at Cuckold's Point, East London.

At the fair there was a procession, which went three times around the church, of people wearing horns. There were many wild practices, such as whipping females with sprigs of furze, giving rise to the expression "all is fair at Horn Fair". Men would often wear women's clothes ...

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