gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,

Jack in the Green

Last Monday, being a Bank Holiday, we followed the bikers down to the seaside at Hastings. We partook of fish and chips and attended the Jack in the Green festival. This was originally started by London chimneysweeps looking to cadge a few bob to tide them over the lean summer months. Now it has mutated into a pseudo-pagan affair in which Jack, as a representative of Spring, is paraded round before being sacrificed to Summer.

There are several of these around the south but none as grand as that in Hastings. Jack has a whole cortege of Morris dancers, drummers, fire-eaters and bogies, who run around daubing noses with green paint.

Jack is eventually taken up to the castle. The various sides, as Morris troups are called, have a chance to show off their dancing skills before the 9' high green man is brought to the stage and stripped bare, his greenery being thrown to the crowd. It's an all round jolly affair, especially with the recent good weather.

Jack himself

A giantess

Another one

And another

A fourth

The fire eater

A green man

And another


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