Lent and May Bumps

This is another interesting tradition in Cambridge which dates back to the 1820s. For those of you that don’t know rowing is very important in Cambridge University. They have an annual race against Oxford.

The bumps take place in the Late Lent Term and the May Bumps after the May Term. These terms are unique to Cambridge and Oxford as they run based on the Christian Calendar and with the Christian Holidays.

They also have the annual bumps that are races between the colleges.

At the bumps the 17 or 18 boats line up the River Cam from Jesus Green all the way to Baits Bite lock. Once the small cannon is fired, the boats try to bump the boat in front of them before the one behind them bumps them.

The bumps are held over four days and if the boat bumps another boat, they move up in the line on the next day. The starting order is based on the place they finished on the previous year. The crew that moves up 4 spot s or maintain their place at the head of the line will burn a boat at the finale.

If you want to watch the bumps, you can go along the River Cam and do so. It is advisable that you be careful when watching the less experienced teams as they might end up on the river bank. Afterwards you can go to the Plough in Fen Ditton and have a pint and many of the crews might be joining you.

Its traditions like this that make me love England and Cambridge.

All the Best!

American to Britain