No, Boxing Day does not mean box up all those presents you didn’t want and take them back for a refund. Contrary to the day after Christmas tradition in America the Brits use Boxing Day as an excuse to prolong the Christmas celebration, usually with lots of drinking. In Denbigh, Erica’s home town, crowds jam the old main market area in the late morning. The pubs are already open.

The first event is the beginning of the fox hunt. foxhuntLanded gentry parade their meticulously groomed horses and selves through the high street, glasses of claret raised to the hunt, eyes averted to minimize contact with us plebs and our pints. Fox hunting is a bizarre sport these days. Officially it’s banned. So to get around it a trail of fox scent is manually laid  for the hounds to follow. I’m not making this up. I hope they pay a lot to whomever ‘lays down the scent’, probably one of the plebs with a promise of all the pints he needs to get a proper scent laid out. The horn sounds and off they go. foxhunt2

Now the real fun starts. Barrels are rolled around the high street by the common folk of Denbigh. Old clothes and gloves are warn to protect the racers from what the horses and hounds left, and hay bails are put out to protect bystanders and storefronts. Here is the women’s final.  boxing dayThis photo re-affirms in me that you don’t mess around with a Denbigh woman.

Off to the pubs, a toast to Boxing Day and Denbigh women.