‘Just wait until Raisin Weekend’ is a phrase you are likely to hear a few times before that weekend in November. It touches us all, and usually in the most peculiar and hilarious ways.


There’s no two ways about it, Raisin Weekend is about a debauched messy mayhem that can start as early as 9am on Sunday morning, and will last until sometime Monday morning. Fear not all those feeling concerned. The alcohol element is most certainly not compulsory, but the infectious fun definitely is.


It is hard to really describe ‘Raisin’ outside the context of the bizarre, the unique and the very special environment of our small grey town. I try and explain what the theory behind this all is.


Legend (or at least the accepted version) has it that each first year child should report to their mother’s house for ‘afternoon tea’ on the Sunday in question. This is all very nice and well before ‘family games’ and bed time. Come Monday morning, child visits its father’s house, where he shall present a gift, traditionally a pound of raisins, in exchange for a ‘raisin receipt’ with its father.


This can be anything, anything at all, as long as it is inscribed with a latin phrase that makes the whole thing seem a little weird. All is very personal from father to son, dad to daughter. Child then exits father’s house with raisin receipt to go and visit mother, where he/she is fancy dressed however she deems appropriate.


These costumes are usually very meticulously constructed and, in some special instances, slapstick majesty. As if this wasn’t weird enough when you are hung over, all first year children then head to the Quad. From about 10am, there are long queues to drop off the receipts at the skips (sofas/washing machines are common) before the entire scene reaches its climax with a mass shaving foam fight.


No, none of this makes any sense whatsoever, but please be reassured, this is about the most unique and out of the ordinary experience you could have at any university in your first year, it is not to be missed. Everyone sees the funny side and by no means is this an arcane ritual – its just unnecessary and messy fun.


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