Next Event: 28th May 2018
If you’re looking to enter, click here.
The mayhem of the beloved “Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake” Cheese Rolling event in Gloucestershire is back for yet another year, and 2018’s event promises to provide just as many thrills and spills as daring competitors tumble down the gigantic hill in a graceful attempt to win the coveted Double Gloucester cheese!
Every country has their own slightly ‘unique’ event – just look at Spain and their Tomatina tomato-throwing festival and the running of the bulls, or our fellow Americans across the pond who play host to the World Pillow Fight Championships. What about in Japan too? Where grown men run through the streets naked in the, you guessed it, ‘Naked Festival’. With all that in mind, our Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling event is truly the spectacle worth seeing.
Dating back to about the 15th century, the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake involves hordes of courageous competitors chasing a weighty 8lb Double Gloucester Cheese down a truly death-defyingly steep hill. With the speed of the cheese reaching heart-racing speeds of 70mph, it’s basically uncatchable. Therefore whoever crosses the line at the bottom of the hill and picks up the cheese is the winner.
There are 4 downhill races in total, three of them for men and one for women. Only 15 runners are able to take part now but, in the past, there was up to 40 competitors running down Cooper’s hill! With 40 people running down the hill, crashing into one another as they go head over heels, there’s no wonder that the St John’s Ambulance staff complained that they didn’t have enough paramedics to treat everyone!
It’s unclear why the ceremony first began, but they’re multiple explanations that aim to solve it. An explanation believes that the ceremony evolved from a requirement to maintain grazing rights, whilst the second explanation believes it’s a pagan origin where bundles of burning brushwood were rolled down the hill to represent the birth of the New Year.
If you’re wanting to take part in 2018’s event, there’s a link at the top of this article that will send you to the official page. Despite the injury concerns, it’s amazing fun – even if you just want to go watch!
Participate at your own risk, and good luck!