14 WTF Oxbridge Traditions

And you thought the Bullingdon Club was odd....

  1. 1

    Matriculation - Oxford and Cambridge

    Freshers at Oxford and Cambridge must matriculate, which is a bit like a graduation ceremony, but for those who have yet to begin their studies.

  2. 2

    Sub Fusc - Oxford and Cambridge

    Sub fusc is a compulsory dress at certain events. Depending on what degree you are taking (BA, MPhil etc) the dress can vary. Sub fusc is compulsory for matriculation ceremonies, sitting exams and in most colleges, attending formal hall.

  3. 3

    Formal Hall - Both

    A wonderfully fancy sit down dinner! Some colleges have them every week, other colleges are more relaxed and only have it on special occasions during term.

  4. 4

    Merton College's Time Ceremony - Oxford

    Only Merton College students are permitted to attend the ceremony; students walk backwards around the college's Fellows quad in full academic dress in the early hours of the last Sunday in October.

  5. 5

    Bops - Both

    Oxbridge's word for parties and discos. They generally themed; from Communist to Seven Deadly Sins, they've covered it all.

  6. 6

    Ascension Day - Oxford

    Pennies are thrown from the tower of Lincoln College's main quad for primary school children to pick up.

  7. 7

    Beating The Bounds - Oxford

    Beating the bounds is an ancient ceremony which defines the limits of the church’s parish by marking with chalk, and beating with willow twigs, the stones around its edge.

  8. 8

    Keep Off The Grass - Both

    In many colleges, students cannot walk on the lawns/grass as this honour is reserved for fellows only, the higher-ranked individuals in the college. Lucky them!

  9. 9

    Oxford Time - Oxford

    Before the advent of railways, the UK operated on a number of local times. Oxford time was 5 minutes later than Greenwich, and is still observed by many tutors/lecturers today.

  10. 10

    Suicide Sunday - Cambridge

    A what?! No, no - it's the boozy end-of-exams celebrations which involve punting, jelly wrestling, and foam parties.

  11. 11

    Trashing - Oxford

    While in Oxford, students celebrate the end of their exams by getting 'trashed' i.e covered in anything and everything.

  12. 12

    May Morning - Oxford

    Almost all pubs and bars and clubs and cafes are open for the entire day to celebrate the coming of Spring. Crowds gather at 6am on Magdalen Bridge to hear choristers sing madrigals at the top of Magdalen Tower.

  13. 13

    Tortoise Racing - Oxford

    Every year, all the tortoises residing in Oxford colleges come out to compete in the tortoise race. Seriously.

  14. 14

    University Police - Both

    And to keep everyone in order - up until 2003 both universities had their own police force. Oxford abolished its police force over a decade ago, however Cambridge still has about thirty constables.

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