Where: Egremont, Cumbria, UK
Egremont has celebrated its crab apple harvest with the annual Crab Fair since medieval times. It is a celebration that is unique to the area, which has generated a great deal of local, national and international support over the years. Being first held in 1267 the Crab Fair is one of the earliest and longest running traditional country fairs in the world. It has come a fair way since the Lord of the Manor wheeled a cart of crab apples through the village to hand out to the poor, as it now includes sports, such as climbing up a greasy pole to try and get a leg of lamb, and the World Gurning Championships.
Gurning is a face pulling contest and is said to originate from the contorted faces the locals made when they bit into these crab apples due to their sharp, sour taste. The gurning competitors have to try and pull the ugliest face while their heads are stuck through a horse’s braffin(collar), with the winner deemed the one who changes his/her face the most from its original state.
Have a look at some extra reading about eccentric Britain here:
Gurning – it’s a fine art. Have a look at this Egremont Crab Fair video to see what it’s all about.
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