Fancy doing something odd? Well, if you’re a married couple who can prove that you’re very happily married, you could carry off a massive amount of bacon.
That’s the premise of the Dunmow Flitch Trials, a 900-year-old tradition of dubious but charming origins and ever since, every four years, a trial is held to decide if married couples are happy enough to carry off the bacon.
The ancient ceremony is also coming up to date – as same-sex married couples are now being invited to apply.
It’s actually a giggle, and the the whole thing is more of a lighthearted event, although one that’s carried out with a professional prosecutor defending the bacon, and a jury of local people to decide if the visiting couple should take home a lot of bacon or a small piece of gammon.
The trial takes place every fourth year which is also a leap year, but thanks to the pandemic, the 2020 trials took place in 2022, and as 2024 is a leap year, they will reset the clock and hold the next Flitch Trial in July 2024.
Anyone who has been married for at least a year and a day when the trial takes place can apply, and next year, for the first time, that will include same-sex couples, because the trials are all about marriage, whomever it is you’re married to.
But beware, you will have to be able to convince a jury that you’re very happily married, otherwise, no bacon for you.
For those not applying, the trials are a public affair and tickets to attend the morning or afternoon trials usually go on sale in a few months time. Dunmow is a small town in Essex, a short bus ride from Stansted Airport, or a long walk along the Flitch Way.
It’s one of those bonkers events that the Brits do so well – Morris Dancing, a Town Cryer, and lots of people in robes and trying to look terrifically serious while doing something utterly barmy.