Friday 25 July 2014

Ebernoe Horn Fair

This horn fair is a rare survival on an ancient custom. It was revived in the small West Sussex village of Ebernoe in 1864 and nowadays comprises of a cricket match played on the village green between the villagers and another local team. The highest scorer receives the horns from the sheep which has been roasting all day. It is always held on St James's day ie 25th July.

Various bits of folklore are attached to the fair. The horns are believed to represent cuckoldry [derived from the idea of the cuckoo laying its eggs in another's nest] and it was believed that if there was a storm on the day that was a sign of a good harvest. It was also a reminder for gardeners to sow their cabbages. There is no doubt in its original form it would have been some what more ribald with much singing and dancing. This traditional horn fair song is performed by Spiers and Boden.


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