Hunting, Wren


Wren hunting is a traditional Boxing Day activity in which people dressed in masks, straw suits and colourful clothing pursue female members of the Royal Navy, parading any whom they apprehend through the streets on top of a decorated pole.

The custom is thought to have originated in Portsmouth, where there was a surfeit of WRENS, and for a brief period in the 17th century, it resurfaced in London, where famous cathedral architects were attached to church spires at the culmination of the festivities.

Wren hunting is still practised in Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, where an actual wren is normally used due to a scarcity of serving wenches.