The Running of the Red Men
(Excerpt from Lonely Planet: Mrrlgorth and the Outer Provinces, 4th Printing, pg. 102)
If you want to soak up some local culture, you can’t go past the so-called ‘Running of the Red Men’. This provincial festival sees dozens of fat, red-clad men chased through the streets by a crowd of professional hunters, on-lookers and curious tourists! The annual event takes place in the small town of Rack, and is a highlight of any visit to the Wasteland.
For fifty-one weeks of the year, Rack is a sleepy little town, sitting blissfully away from the major tourist trail. But come the last week of December, the lights and decorations go up, the Santas are prepped, and the locals start sharpening their knives in preparation for an age-old ritual unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Imagine the scene: It’s dawn on the last Thursday of the year. The streets have been cleared, and the sun is just peeking over the horizon. Eager spectators watch from nearby scaffolding. Then the signal is given, the cages are open… and they’re off! The Santas are fast, but the local hunters are usually much faster – try to keep up if you can. The hunt itself can last until noon, or even the middle of the afternoon. The Santas themselves (mostly bums and criminals, although every year sees a few volunteers) can be stealthy and cunning. Still, locals claim there has never been a single successful escape. Be sure to stick around for a night of revelry and feasting, though the choicest cuts will of course go to the hunters. The men of Rack are expert butchers, and traditionally, no part of the Santa is wasted.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Mrrlgorth Airways operates weekly direct flights to Rack. Alternatively, several companies run bus services through the Wasteland – be sure to bring your own gun. Package tours are available at most of the major travel agencies, but be sure to book in advance.