21 Aug Punkie Night 2017
The Punkie is a hollowed-out mangold or manglewurzel with a lit candle inside to make a lantern and decorated by cutting back the skin to make patterns for the light to shine through. It is crucial that the cutting does not make an actual hole, a difficult task given the rock hard nature of the vegetable.
On October 26th, the children of Hinton St George will carry their lanterns in a procession around the village chanting a special rhyme; they are led by the Punkie King and Queen and prizes are given for the best designed Punkies.
The origins of the custom are obscure, with legends of the original lanterns being made by the village wives going in search of their inebriated husbands lost on the way home from Chiselborough Fair. Expect at least 250 people to be there, many in spooky fancy dress ;
The parade follows a route around the village with stops for Morris Dancing and for singing the Punkie Song, before all return to the Village Hall where the judging takes place. The punkies are hung from a special beam on the stage and there are categories for different age groups with prizes for the top 3 in each category. Don’t worry about the spelling – the alternative of “punky” is also used.
In 2017 it will be on Thursday October 26th.
Refreshments are available at the Village Hall – in 2016 they were an absolute bargain with hot dogs at £1 and cakes at 50p & £1.