Honiton Hot Pennies Day

Throughout Honiton, Honiton, Devon

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Honiton town

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Dating back to the 13th Century, Honiton’s Hot Pennies Ceremony remains unbroken for several hundred years, and still takes place on the first Tuesday after July 19th each year.

Beginning at 12 noon in the Old Pannier Market, The Town Cryer, accompanied by The Mayor and local dignitaries, hoists a garlanded pole with a gloved hand at the top and proclaims that ‘No man may be arrested so long as the glove is up’ this was so that everyone would come to Honiton for the fair which followed the ceremony, without the fear of being arrested.

The first pennies of the event are thrown from the balcony of the former Assembly Rooms, above the Old Pannier Market, and then a procession follows the garlanded Pole to a number of pubs and public houses where ‘hot pennies’ are thrown to the gathered children.

Nowadays the pennies thrown are merely warm, but the tradition of the pennies being thrown hot was because the affluent people who threw the coins took great delight in seeing the peasants burn their fingers whilst picking them up.

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