Let’s talk about Raisin.

And no I don’t just mean the wrinkly kind.

Here in St Andrews, students town wide are gearing up for the biggest event of the semester, if not the year.

And considering the fact that I am:

a) a nerd who loves all the traditions at my university

b) currently concocting top secret plans myself

c) a lifestyle blogger who writes about what is happening in my life

I thought it was time I caught you lot up to date with one of the oldest traditions we have hear at St Andrews. Grab a cuppa though, this is a bit of a long one!

So what actually is Raisin?

To explain it, I need to take you all back to the first few weeks of the academic term when first years and third years alike are desperately wandering around town looking a little lost and alone.

Why? They want to be adopted (if they’re a newbie) or adopt (if they’re an old pro). We’re pretty big on academic families in this tiny little town, not least because they act as an informal support network for the new kids in town. After all, it’s slightly less embarrassing to ask a fellow student how to cook eggs than it is to ask a warden.

Once you are in a family, you’ll spend a little bit of time getting to know them at dinners and parties and the such before the big weekend arrives. Then come Raisin Sunday you are awoken either for an early morning dip in the sea or brunch at your mum’s house. I did both as my parents were academically married, which meant that they planned the whole day together. Others would play party games with their mum before heading to their dad’s for dinner and a party later in the day.

(Again, mine was a little different because between the two of them they had planned a day chock-a-block of Pokemon themed challenges held around the town).

You snatch a few hours of sleep before waking up bright and early to head back to your mum’s house to be put into a costume – the more ridiculous the better – and to be given a raisin receipt, which should technically be inscribed in Latin (we are a 600 year old university after all) by your dad. You will carry this all the way to St Salvator’s Quad so you’ve got to hope it’s not too heavy, or in my case, disgusting.

At the Quad, the fun bit begins as you worm your way inside to take part in a foam fight. No one’s really sure why we do this bit but it’s a LOT of fun, and tends to make the national news for some strange reason.

The best bit though? Hugging your waiting parents while covered in foam.

The last bit to describe is of course the name: a canny few years ago you would give your parents a pound of raisins as a thank you gift as this would have been a luxurious treat. Now, we tend to stick with a nice bottle of wine instead!

As a second year, I get to plan a Raisin Revenge for my parents to pay them back for their antics last year. I’ll let you know how that goes….

Kelly x

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