A tradition started in 1941 against Texas A&M could end tonight.
The annual Hex Rally, in which students light red candles to “hex” the Aggies, will take place tonight at 8:30 on the Main Mall.
The rally’s roots lie in a 1941 visit by a group of UT students to a local fortune teller named Madam Hipple. UT was preparing for the annual Thanksgiving Day game vs. A&M, and the students were desperate to break UT’s 18-year losing streak.
Madam Hipple told them that burning red candles would break a “jinx” set by the Aggies against UT. After students followed her advice, UT won 23-0.
The hex was used three times in the 1950s—not against A&M, but instead to hex SMU, TCU, and Baylor. The tradition died out until 1986, when the Texas Exes Student Involvement Committee, now the Texas Exes Student Chapter, revived the tradition.
Every year since then, a large crowd of students and supporters has turned out to hex the Aggies. This year, they’ll wear shirts that say “Hook ’em, Hex ’em, Whoop ’em.”
“We’re reluctant to lose the red candle tradition, because it’s so much fun and people enjoy it, but we just don’t know yet,” says Texas Exes director of campus relations Jim Nicar. “It’s possible that we’ll do the rally against another school, as was done in the past. But right now, we’re just trying to get through this football season.”