There are an awfully lot of traditions.
Following is an arbitrary and entirely incorrect listing of some of those traditions, as applied at the GFH3:
The Trail: GFH3 trails usually end in the place they started, although sometimes we get a creative A to B. The trails are almost always pre-set. Most people strive to use checks and back checks to keep the pack together. Shiggy is always welcomed by most; poison ivy is always cursed by all. True trail is typically about four miles, give or take. There are always complaints about some aspect of the trail, and no one ever uses enough flour to make everyone happy.
|Most checks are not this ornate.|
|Say it with me: "99 TO THE CUP!"|
Hosting: If every individual (not couple, but individual) who comes to the hash at least once a month or more hosts once a year, we are all set for hosts. As this does not happen, some people graciously step up several times a year. Everyone knows who all these people are. If you can't or don't wish to host from your home, you can borrow a friend's, use your party room, find a parking lot, community room or other space that allows (or at least doesn't forbid) gatherings with alcohol, and host there.
|This is what a Hash Hero looks like.|
Naming: This is probably where GFH3 differs most from the typical run of hashes. Great Falls members get a GFH3 nickname on their 100th run. The group kinda-sorta doesn't recognize nicknames from other hashes. The naming process relies on input from the Executive Committee, which is theoretically everyone with 100 runs or more. People with fewer runs often sneak in, though. When someone reaches 99 runs, the Mufti convenes the Exec Comm and opens the floor to suggestions. A group of ten or twenty or so stare at each other, someone says, "Why isn't X here? S/he always has good ideas," someone else says, "No, her/his names are terrible," and a third person wanders off to find a few more Exec Comm members. Then three people suggest ideas at once, and six other people say those ideas are terrible/great/already done/too rude/not rude enough/make no sense. Then someone else suggests a name, and everyone else says, "Naaah." Then two people start to bicker about whether names should be naughty, nasty or nice, and someone else pushes up close to the Mufti and says, "I have it!" And so forth.
|"Make it nice." "Make it REALLY rude." "No, that's too rude." etc.|
At 200 runs, the 'process' repeats and the hasher gets a new nickname. At 300, or sometimes 400, runners get input into the final nickname choice, and at 500 runs, they get to choose their own, either one of their previous nicknames or a brand new one, that sticks for life.
Naming ceremonies: On a person's 100th run, after the roll call, the Mufti dons his fez and demands quiet. He then calls the person to be named to come stand by him, begs for clemency, and reads the list of 'bullets dodged' before unfolding, with a flourish, a handsome cotton t-shirt with the date, the runner's real name, and his or her new nickname. Everyone cheers. The last person to reach 100 presents the new 100-run-er with a silver cup, engraved with the names, dates and nicknames. A few of the more enthusiastic audience members pour liquids into the cup, and the newly-named person drinks the contents, unless we're outdoors and s/he can pour them on the ground.
Birthdays: The group 'sings' the traditional Happy Birthday song in wildly different tempos and keys, mostly completely out of tune, and the celebrant is invited to make a speech. Sometimes someone brings a cake.
|Birthday boys and girls often respond with various ear-plugging attempts.|
Speeches: The speech-maker thrusts one arm into the air, and everyone else immediately cheers and yells. Repeat twice. Sometimes the speech-maker utters a syllable; rarely two.