Bizarre Traditions & Customs

Cheese Roll!

You may be wondering why there are 2 photos of this hill which I took yesterday near Brockworth, Gloucester, a place called Cooper’s Hill to be precise. Every year on the day of the Spring Bank Holiday the hills come alive with the sound of cheese rolling!

Now officially an extreme sport, cheese-rolling attracts competitors to Gloucester from all over the world who come to chase a Double Gloucester cheese down the 300 yard-long hill. The cheese used is a 3 to 4 kilogram Double Gloucester which is a hard cheese traditionally made in a circular shape and the cheese used is made by local Cheese maker Mrs Smart. The cheese is protected for the rolling by a wooden casing round the side and is then decorated with ribbons at the start of the race.

Photo courtesy of Smarts Traditional Gloucester Cheese.

Every year the master of ceremonies orders the eight-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese be released at the count of 3. The runners follow at the count of 4. The slope which they run down is too steep to run down safely, with an average gradient of 45 degrees but steeper than that in parts. With its small size and aerodynamic shape, the cheese can gather a speed of more than 30mph which is much faster than a human can run. At the bottom of the hill, volunteers try to catch the racers as they try to stop.

In 1998 the event was cancelled due to a high number of cheese injuries the previous year, where 27 racers were harmed in the chase. Participants have unfortunately suffered broken arms and legs as well as neck and head injuries. The sidelines can be unsafe too, in 1994 an escaped cheese broke the leg of a 9 year old boy.

The first written evidence of cheese rolling is found from a message written to the Gloucester town crier in 1826 and even then it was apparent the event was an old tradition, and it is believed to be at least six hundred years old. According to local legend, the cheese roll began as a pagan ritual that welcomed spring and others claim it is the remnant of an ancient fertility rite.

Photo image by Cameron Smith/Getty.

This is last years winner Abby Lampe who travelled just under 4,000 miles from North Carolina in the US to take part in the event and nabbed the women’s title.

This years Cheese Rolling 2023 will be held on Monday May 29th from 12:00 till 16:00 if you are interested in attending! (Or participating!)

Does anyone else know of or has been a part of a local bizarre event or tradition?


Most local traditions are only ‘bizarre’, to outsiders. When they’re your own, local traditions and happen every year, they’re just normal!


@Pips yes this is very true! :+1:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks so much for sharing @Samox24 So interesting.
I had never heard of this, and as you say, @Pips, most locals see it as a normal occurrence.
The one that comes to mind is the yearly running of the bulls in Pamplona!
Which I have never seen or even contemplated participating in! :open_mouth:

Have you seen or been part of any @Pips ?

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Happy GroundHog Day! According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow on Feb. 2, the scared groundhog returns to his burrow and the USA is in store for six more weeks of winter. But, if he doesn’t see his shadow, the country can expect warmer temperatures and an early spring….

This year, Phil’s prediction came as a mess of ice, sleet and snow lingered across much of the southern US.

According to records dating back to 1887, Phil has predicted winter more than 100 times. Ten years were lost because no records were kept, organizers say.

5 Fun Facts You May Not Know


@Angela_L I just love this! :heart:… a shame about his recent prediction though! :roll_eyes:

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@Samox24 If it’s any consolation, his Canadian counterpart Wiarton Willie is predicting an early spring.

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@Lindsay pleased to hear it!! :sweat_smile:

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Unfortunately I suffer from crippling claustrophobia and anxiety in crowds, so it rules me out of most busy events. It’s a shame as we have no end of fiestas here that I’d love to be able to attend.


We Aussies love our sport and this event is iconic!

The annual Australia Day (26 January) cockroach races at the Story Bridge Hotel in Brisbane. It’s now in it’s 40th year. Because I’m not on Facebook I couldn’t share a video but if you Google it you will see…

There are so many bizarre races around the World. I know there is a Wife Carrying race in Finland that draws thousands every year…just one of hundreds I am sure.

Just a great reason to gather a group of people together for fun and laughs (even though I understand some folks take it very, very seriously)!

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@Samox24 Cooper’s Hill is just down the road from us, so I’ve stood at the top a few times - never on cheese rolling day though. No photo really does justice to just how steep the slope is when you stand at the top and look down! I can’t even imagine trying to walk down it, let alone running down it with a crowd of other crazies in pursuit of a cheese!


My home isn’t far from there but I haven’t yet witnessed the cheeserolling

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“In 1998 the event was cancelled due to a high number of cheese injuries” those poor cheeses.

“My home isn’t far from there but I haven’t yet witnessed the cheeserolling” the price and joy?of travel :cheese:
I know, that’s cheesy.

Here’s an odd local contest for those who don’t mind getting a little cold.

Every year, the town of Whitehorse, Yukon holds the International Hair Freezing Contest. Yes, you read that right. Contestants lift their heads out of water in a local hot spring, allowing the freezing temperatures to sculpt their hair into icy coiffures. As the instructions state, “For best results, the outside temperature should be below -20°C”! The contest is open until March, in case you’re interested in participating. :wink:

Here are pictures of the frozen hair sculptures that have been submitted so far this year.


@Karen_E oh my goodness… way too cold for me! :cold_face::sweat_smile:

What kind of critter is Willie?

He’s a groundhog!

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