Finding America

Me and Tarah

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Britain has more than its share of quirky competitions and celebrations. Some date back hundreds of years, while others are much more recent incarnations, but in every instance you tend to find some stamp of character that is uniquely British. Here is a quick journey around some of the more curious occasions taking place in the UK this year.

The Haxey hood
The contest for the Haxey Hood is possibly the oldest tradition to take place anywhere in the UK. The rules of the game are simple; every year on January 6th a leather tube called the 'hood' is thrown into a large group of competitors called the 'sway,' who then compete by jostling and shoving to get the hood back to their chosen pub in the village of Haxey. This tough, physical tradition goes back over 600 years to the 14th century, when labourers were said to have fought for the honour of returning Lady de Mowbray's hat to her when it was blown from her head.

Nettle eating
There are several places to take part in nettle eating contests in the UK. The largest event, known as the World Nettle Eating Championship, takes place in June in the Dorset village of Marshwood. Here as many as 70 people compete to see who can consume the longest length of bare stinging nettle stalks. This isn't for the faint of heart though: previous winners have eaten over 75 feet!

Mud racing
The Maldon Mud Race in Essex is held on May 25th, and involves a crowd of competitors trying to reach the finish line over 400 metres of wet, sticky mud. Take part yourself, and discover why it's really not as easy as it sounds, or simply turn up to enjoy the show. The many fancy dress entrants make for quite a spectacle.

Bog snorkeling
The 30th annual World Bog Snorkeling Championships will be held in Llanwrtyd Wells on August 30th 2015. This contest to snorkel a channel of muddy water in the fastest time made its way into Lonely Planet's 50 must do things in 2014, and top performers are immortalised in the Guinness World Records, so there are plenty of reasons to get involved.

Cheese rolling
Cheese rolling is a deceptively genial sounding sport, which actually involves a fair potential for injury. At Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire contestants race down a steep hill after a wheel of cheese, often tumbling down the steep incline, and one another, in the process. More than 5,000 people turned up to watch last year's event, so expect a crowd.

Bognor Birdman
The Bognor Birdman competition in Bognor Regis sees individuals test out their homemade flying machines from the end of the town's pier. Find out for yourself why 'homemade' and 'flying machine' shouldn't go together. The competitors often represent charities, so that takes away some of the guilt at enjoying a succession of spectacular aerial mishaps.

Knob throwing
This curiously named sporting event takes place in May each yeah in Cattistock in Devon. For a few pounds you can take on the challenge of throwing a traditional knob biscuit as far as possible. There are lots of other games and entertainment on the day too, so once the contest is over there's still plenty to enjoy.

Kelly Edwards is Assistant Ecommerce Manager at Express Displays. If you are attending an event, exhibition, conference, charity or specialist event, Express Displays offer all your display stand needs.

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