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Primal Scream Student Nude Run - Cambridge - Massachusetts

Run Naked at Harvard

On the evening before exams, eager male and female students run naked into the courtyards and scream. Although no one knows for sure, scientists believe they do this as a part of their studying habits. It is not yet known whether this tradition positively affects their performance on the exams, but they seem to enjoy themselves all the same.
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A Brief (and Naked) History

In the 1960s, many of the students would gather in the yard and scream for ten minutes. Others, meanwhile, perhaps those with not enough body hair to brave the cold, would simply open their windows and join in with the screaming. Historians note that it wasn't until the early 1990s that streaking became part of the event. Eventually it became too large for the area that hosted it and it was officially moved to "The Yard". A dispute soon erupted over which name this newer and bigger event should go by, and, with the 'screamers' being much more vocal, "Primal Scream" won easily.

Participation has always been great with streakers and onlookers packing the area. Female participation has improved over the years as a decision was made to close the front gates to anyone without an official Harvard student ID card. This helps to keep the event as a 'student-only' affair and somewhat assures the students to feel safe. The majority of our photo submissions have come from students who ran in the event and the timing and ability for strangers to attend becomes more limited each year.

There is no official web address for the event, however you can use the Harvard Academic Calendar and Facebook has some links available as well.


The participating students are fine with it, obviously, and the school's administration seems willing to tolerate it as an ongoing tradition.

It is also required in order to participate, after all.


The students tend not to welcome strangers who are there solely to take pictures. If you do go there with this intent, be aware that you may not receive a warm reception.



Harvard Primal Scream 2002  Posted February 2002 20 images (Medium) Carnival
Fast Frank  - Harvard Primal Scream 2002
Just like the Naked Mile except totally different.
Harvard Primal Scream 2004  Posted January 2005 24 images (HUGE) Carnival
Scream  - Harvard Primal Scream 2004
Complete with a full report as well!
Harvard Primal Scream 2003  Posted May 2003 17 images (Medium) Carnival
HGoddard  - Harvard Primal Scream 2003
This photographer cashed in on one of Cocco's Photo Challenges!
Harvard Primal Scream 2003  Posted January 2003 21 images (Medium) Carnival
BigBrother  - Harvard Primal Scream 2003
There's no better way to wake up your brain for exams!