An Encounter with the Pollywogs at King Neptune’s Court

In the 13th century, ships celebrated crossing the equator or Crossing the Line with an initiation ceremony overseen by King Neptune and his court.  Pollywogs (those who had not crossed the Equator on a previous voyage) were coated with various nasty liquids found in the bilge of the ship, suspended by their ankles, and plunged into the sea.

In the ceremony we observed initiates were coated with spaghetti and colorful substances prepared in the ship’s galley, given the opportunity to kiss a fish, and then encouraged to jumped into the pool.

King Neptune presides over his Court

Getting slathered

All ages participated

Kissing the Fish

Even the females got slathered

Another Pollywog gets initiated

No mercy is shown for this Pollywog

But he still gets up and makes his way to kiss the fish




5 Responses to “An Encounter with the Pollywogs at King Neptune’s Court”

  1. Mary Jane, This looked like fun but I’m glad it wasn’t me! Have fun….

  2. You know what happens to Pollywogs who don’t fess up (i.e. participate in the King Neptune ceremony) when crossing “the line”? Well, stay tuned! THAT line crossing ceremony is really something. TWO lines – one for the Pollywogs and one for the Pollywogs who PREVIOUSLY crossed the line but didn’t Kiss The Fish. We’ll be watching for the next Equator crossing!!!!

  3. Why weren’t any of your group featured in the pics? Looks like it was a great time.

  4. I assume all of you had already made this journey before? Where are those pictures?????

  5. Ooooooh FUN! Did not any of you participate in this jolly tradition? Keep us posted. We love your posts.

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