Raisin Weekend – Is It Getting Greener?

Each year Raisin Weekend is one of the University traditions that take over the town. So, whether you took part or not, you probably heard some sort of drunken mob legging it down the street with pantyhose on their heads and a megaphone in hand.

Raisin Sunday is a day of drinking games and scavenger hunts around the town. Monday is a very different scene. Instead, parents dress their children up in bespoke costumes of the weird and wonderful. Then the parents, give their children Raisin Receipts to take to the foam fight on Lower College Lawn. It is bizarre to see.

Over the years this tradition has been a particularly wasteful one. At the entrance to the foam fight, landfill skips have been filled to the brim with non-biodegradable or recyclable waste. Not saying that it makes it any better if they were recyclable or biodegradable. Waste is waste.

Perhaps 2022 is when that all begins to change. Compared to previous years, the waste was minimal with the majority of it being foam cannister caps placed into dry mixed recycling. The majority of receipts were respectable food donations for the local food bank and people often opted for saving their costumes than destroying them in the foam fight. Even the grounds of the foam fight had less waste to collect than usual.

It feels like ripping into the wasteful nature of traditions is a very Grinch thing to do. Traditions are deeply expressive moments of shared culture and often beautiful to celebrate. Sadly, there are those that come at the expense of people and planet. Over time traditions evolve and it is a joy to see a tradition at the heart of the University of St Andrews start to change.