Jethart Hand Ba'

52 images Created 8 Mar 2015

The annual game of hand ba’ in the Scottish town of Jedburgh takes place every year the Thursday after Fastern’s E’en. The hand ba’ tradition has survived cholera outbreaks, World Wars, and foot and mouth controls.

In 1548 a party of Scots recaptured Ferniehirst Castle, a mile south of Jedburgh. During the battle one of the Scots recognized an English officer who had raped his daughter and decapitated him. The head was then used in a celebratory game proceeding the battle.

Those born south of the towns Market Cross play for the ‘Uppies’ scoring at the Castle Jail, conversely those born North play for the Doonies, scoring near the River Jed. The knack of the game is to smuggle the ball through team members, through any means possible, there are no rules as such really.
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