The Hash House Harriers (abbreviated to HHH, H3, or referred to simply as Hashing) is an international group of non-competitive running, social, and drinking clubs. An event organized by a club is known as a Hash or Hash Run, with participants calling themselves hashers.
The Hash House Harriers is a decentralized organization, with each chapter (sometimes called a Kennel) individually managed with no uniting organizational hierarchy. A kennel's management is typically known as the MisManagement and consists of individuals with various duties and titles, such as Grand Moron or Religious Adviser. There are more than 1,700 kennels spanning all seven continents. Most major cities are home to at least one kennel, with some areas boasting more than ten groups. Kennels typically contain 20-100 members, usually co-ed, and some metropolitan area Hashes can draw more than 1,000 hashers to an event.
Page to AVLH3 MisManagement:
Hashing began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a casual group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British Paper Chase, to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend. This original group consisted of four members: Cecil Lee, Frederick "Horse" Thomson, Ronald "Torch" Bennett, and Albert Stephen (A.S.) Ignacious "G" Gispert. John Woodrow was also an original member of the group, but is rarely credited as a founder, having left Malaysia soon after the war and returning to Scotland.
After meeting for some months, they were informed by the Registrar of Societies that as a "group," they would require a Constitution and an official name. A.S. Gispert suggested the name "Hash House Harriers" in homage to the Selangor Club Annex, where the men were billeted, so named the "Hash House" for its notoriously monotonous food. The final word, "Harriers," refers to the role of those in the chase, where the "hare" was given a head start to blaze a trail and mark his path with shreds of paper, and then pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the "true" path, harriers reaching the end of the trail would be rewarded with beer, ginger beer, and cigarettes.
The Constitution of the Hash House Harriers is laid out in the following philosophy from a KL city club registration card dated 1950:
* To promote physical fitness among our members
* To get rid of weekend hangovers
* To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
* To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
Hashing died out during World War II after the Japanese invasion of Malaysia, but was re-started after the war by the original group, minus A.S. Gispert, who was killed in the Japanese invasion of Singapore.
Apart from a "one-off" chapter formed in the Italian Riveria, growth of Hashing remained small until 1962, when Ian Cumming founded the second kennel in Singapore. The idea then spread through the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand, then through Europe and North America, booming in popularity during the mid-1970s.
At present, there are almost two thousand kennels in all parts of the world, with members distributing newsletters, directories, and magazines and organizing regional and world Hashing events. As of 2003, there are even two organized kennels operating in Antarctica.
The sole purpose of a kennel is the organization of Hashes: a running event loosely-based on hare hunting. Most kennels gather on a weekly or monthly basis, though some events occur sporadically, e.g. February 29th, Friday the 13th, or a full moon.
At a Hash, one or more members (Hares) lay a trail, which is then followed by the remainder of the group (the Pack or Hounds). The trail often includes false trails, short cuts, dead ends, and splits. These features are designed to keep the pack together regardless of fitness level or running speed, as front-runners are forced to slow down to find the "true" trail, allowing stragglers to catch up.
Members often describe their group as "a drinking club with a running problem," indicating that the social element of an event is as important, if not more so, than any athleticism involved. Alcohol is often an integral part of a Hash, though the balance between running and drinking differs between kennels, with some groups placing more focus on socializing and others on running.
Generally, Hash events are open to the public and require no reservation or membership, but some may require a small fee ($5-10 USD) to cover the cost of food or drink. Information on upcoming hashes is distributed through word-of-mouth, phone lines, or the Internet
The end of a trail is predominantly an occasion to drink beer, water, or soda and observe any traditions of the individual kennel (see Traditions). When the Hash officially ends, many members will continue socializing at an On-After or On-On-On, an event held at a nearby house, pub, or restaurant.
The first Red Dress Run in South America, held in Chaclacayo, Perú.
In addition to regularly-scheduled Hashes, a kennel may also organize other events: such a house party, a camp out, a pub crawl, or a themed event.
A common special event is the Red Dress Run, and is held annually by individual kennels. According to hasher lore, a newcomer in San Diego was invited to a hash run. Unbeknownst to her, it was a running group, and she attended the run in a red dress instead of running clothes. Upon being mocked for wearing such an outfit, she ran the trail anyway. Other hashers began wearing red dresses as a joke, and the tradition soon became an annual event that spread across the world. The point of the run is that all participants (both sexes) don red dresses, red body paint, red sarongs, or even red duct tape. The Red Dress Run is typically the largest event organized by a kennel in a given year, with attendance topping 2,000 in San Diego, and 600 in Washington, D.C.. Variations on this theme include a Green Dress Run (often held near St. Patrick's Day), formal dress run, or lingerie Hash.
* Bicycle Hashes (BASHes) mimic the idea of normal Hashes, but participants ride bicycles instead of running on foot.
* Children Hashes have been organized for member under the age of 16, with soft drinks replacing alcoholic beverages and any adult themes being toned down considerably.
* Hash-O events combine elements of Hashing and orienteering.
* Splash Hashes involve the hashers jumping (or being thrown) into a river or stream to be swept downstream by the current.
Hashing hasn't strayed far from its roots in Kuala Lumpur. The hare(s) mark their trail with paper, chalk, sawdust, or colored flour, depending on the environment and weather. For example, biodegradable toilet paper may be used in off-road areas where other marks would be difficult to see. Generally, any mark used to identify the trail is called a Hash Mark.
Special marks may be used to indicate a false trail, a backtrack, a shortcut, or a turn. The most commonly-used mark is a Check, indicating that hashers will have to search in any direction to find the continuation of the trail. Most trails contain a Beer Check, where the pack stops to consume beer, water, or snacks, allowing any stragglers to catch up to the group. A beer check may be a cache of beer or a prearranged meeting spot with a vehicle transporting a keg, cooler, or snacks.
Trails may pass through any sort of terrain and hashers may run through back alleyways, residential areas, city streets, forests, swamps, or shopping malls and may climb fences, ford streams, explore storm drains or scale cliffs in their pursuit of the hare.
Signals & Terms
Front-running members of the pack utilize chalk symbols to mark the way for the rest of the group, and hashers often carry horns or whistles to communicate with each other, in additional to verbal communication. A hasher yelling, "Are You?" is wondering if someone is on the correct path. Hashers may also yell, "Checking!" if they are looking for the trail or, "On-On!" if they have found the true trail. Hashers trying to find a shortcut or otherwise deviating from the trail will yell "Flying!" or flap their arms to indicate that they have abandoned the trail and others should follow at their own risk.
Every Hash House employs its own set of marks and the names for these marks may vary widely, so newcomers or visitors will have the local markings explained to them before the run at a Chalk Talk. Additionally, the hares for that particular run may give some trail-specific advice, such as rare markings or particular obstacles.
There are two types of trails. Live Trails are laid by hares who are given a head start, while Dead Trails are pre-laid hours or days before the Hash begins. Live trails are closer to the original "Hare and Hound" tradition, with the intent of the pack being to catch the hare rather than making it to the end, and are more common in the United States, while the rest of the world tends toward dead trails. The choice of live or dead trails is a subject of much controversy on the various Hash-related discussion groups.
A trail may be "A to A," meaning the beginning and end of the trail are fairly close, or "A to B," where the beginning and end of the trail are widely separated.
Most hash events end with a group gathering known as the Circle. Led by kennel leadership, the Circle provides a time to socialize, sing drinking songs, recognize individuals, formally name members, or inform the group of pertinent news or upcoming events.
Circles may be led by the Kennel Grandmaster, the group's Religious Adviser, or by a committee.
A Down-Down is a means of punishing, rewarding, or merely recognizing an individual for any action or behavior according to the customs or whims of the group. Generally, the individual in question is asked to consume without pause the contents of his or her cup, mug or can -usually held by the left arm- or risk pouring the remaining contents on his or her head. Individuals may be recognized for outstanding service, or for their status as a visitor or newcomer. Down-Downs also serve as punishment for misdemeanors real, imagined, or blatantly made up. Such transgressions may include: wearing new shoes to an event, pointing with a finger, or the use of real names.
The use of real names during an event is discouraged, and members are typically given a new "hash name," usually in deference to a particularly notorious escapade, a personality trait, or their physical appearance. Newcomers referred to by their given name, typically with "Virgin," "New Boot," "Just" or "No-Name" prepended to their first name. Members are named at significant milestone: a certain number of attendances, after they hare their first trail, or other noteworthy event. During a naming event, the individual is singled out and asked multiple and typically embarrassing questions. Other members may then share stories or observations about the individual, with the final name being chosen by general consensus from multiple suggestions.
The traditional symbol of hashing is the outline of a human foot, often including the phrase "On-On."
"Are You?" Question shouted by the pack to FRBs, meaning "Are you on the trail?"
"Searching" A shout said when seeing the searching sign
Back hare/Sweeper/checking chicken Hare who remains with the last runners
Bar Trail mark indicating that the true trail branches off prior to the mark
Bash Bicycle Hash
Beer Check Beverage stop or trail mark indicating a beverage stop
Beermeister The person that supplies the beer, soda, water, and chips for the hash
Boob Check see Ladies' Check
Check Trail mark indicating the true trail must be sought out from the false trails
Check Back Same as false trail
Circle Assembly of hashers at trail's end, normally for the purpose of conducting down-downs
"Checking" Answer shouted by FRB to pack when asked "Are You?", indicating that FRB has not determined whether the trail he's following is true or false
Check-it-out Invitation given to the hounds by the hare to find the true trail
Crop busting Short-cutting across a field
DFL Dead Fucking Last: Slowest member(s) of the pack, or the last to arrive at the on-in
Down-Down The ceremony of quaffing a beverage (an honor)
Dust Sawdust or flour used to mark the trail
Eurohash International hashing event held in Europe in odd-numbered years
False trail A short trail ended with the Tee sign, three lines, or other mark indicating termination, see also Falsies
Falsie A false trail
FBI First Bitch In: The first harriette to arrive at the on-in
FRB Front-Running Bastard: Faster members of the pack, or the first to arrive at the on-in
Grand Master (GM) mismanagement member, ceremonial leader of the hash. This term is, in many hashes, given to the Hash Master after his tenure.
Grand Mistress (GM) mismanagement member, female ceremonial leader of the hash. This term is, in many hashes, given to the Hash Mistress after her tenure.
Haberdasher Mismanagement member in charge of T-shirts, hats, mementos, etc
Hare Hasher who lays the trail
Hare Raiser Mismanagement member in charge of lining up hares for future trails
Harriette Female hasher
Hash Cash Mismanagement member; the treasurer
Hash Horn Mismanagement member; carries a horn or bugle on trail, blows it to encourage and guide the pack
Hash House The Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur, meeting place of the Mother Hash
Hash House Harrier Any hasher
Hash Master (HM) Mismanagement member, Lead of Ceremonies
Hash Mistress Mismanagement member. Female Lead of Ceremonies.
Hash Name Nickname, usually bestowed after a set number of runs or in honour of a notable incident; not used by all hashes
Hash Trash see 'The Words'
Hash Shit Offensive or embarrassing object given to a hasher for notable on-trail accomplishments, normally carried by the awardee on subsequent trails until it is awarded to someone else
Hasher Any Hash House Harrier. Traditionally, you become a "hasher" upon finishing your first "down-down."
Hashing The act of running a hash trail
Held/hold Check Trail mark indicating an intersection where true trail may take another direction, but requires hashers to wait until ordered by the hare to 'check it out'
Horrors Children of hashers
Hounds The body of hashers in pursuit of the hare, see also Pack
Interhash Regional, national, or world hash gathering
Kennel Local Hash Group
Knitting Circle Group of harriers or harriettes (usually the latter) who spend more time walking and talking than hashing.
Ladies' Check Harriettes to 'check it out'
Live Hare Hare who gets a nominal head start and is pursued by the pack as he or she lays trail
"Looking" Answer shouted by FRB to pack when asked "Are You?", indicating that FRB has lost the true trail
Mismanagement Hash officials; sometimes elected, sometimes appointed
Mutt A hasher's dog
Nash hash A national interhash
Newbies or FNGs Virgin hashers
"On Call" Shouted by hounds (or hashers) to indicate they are following the calls of another hasher following true trail marks. See "On On"
On In Trail's end, also On-Inn; trail mark indicating proximity to end
"On On" Shouted by FRBs or hounds (or hashers) to indicate they are on true trail. Only shouted by a hasher to indicate they see true trail markings. See also "On Call"
On Sec Mismanagement member normally in charge of hash rosters, run records, etc
Puppies Children of hashers, see "Horrors"
Receding Hareline List of up-and-coming hash events, normally printed in The Words
Religious Advisor (RA) Mismanagement member, often in charge of Circle, also in charge of blessing the hash and settling disputes over tradition
RG Trail marking indicating hashers should not continue until The Pack has regrouped
Scribe Mismanagement member normally in charge of writing The Words
SCB Short-Cutting Bastard: habitual short-cutter
Shiggy Thick vegetation, streams, etc; especially mud
Strollers see knitting circle
Sweeper see Back hare
The Words/Hash Trash Weekly hash newspaper mainly recounting the events of the last run, written by the Hare(s)
T(ee) Hash mark indicating a section of trail going nowhere, designed to slow down the pack
Tradition Euphemism for "rule"
Virgin Hash Newbie
This info is derived from Wikipedia