Dates May 01, 2009 – May 04, 2009
Location Hastings, United Kingdom
Tel. Number N/A
This traditional Morris dancing festival in Hastings attracts groups from all over the country for a long and wild weekend of dancing, culminating in a procession and a ceremony called Slaying of the Jack on the last day.
The origins of the festival are linked to that of the May Pole. In the 16th and 17th centuries people in England would make garlands of flowers and leaves for the May Day celebrations. By the late-18th century, they had become an opportunity to show off – milkmaids in London carried garlands on their heads with silver objects on top, chimney sweeps made such elaborate garlands they would cover the entire body. The sight of chimney boys covered in grass earned them the nickname “Jack in the Green”.
In Hastings there were at least two groups that paraded a Jack in the Green until about 1889. At this point the Victorians aimed to stamp out the drunken and promiscuous behaviour associated with the maypoles; the Lord and Lady May of the Practical Joke were replaced by a pretty May Queen and Jack in the Green was axed. However, in 1979 the Mad Jacks Morris Dancers decided to resuscitate the custom and thus, Jack is back…
The programme includes live music from Cajun, Zydeco and hillbilly to local folk bands, Morris dancing, a big ceilidh, a celebration church service, the crowning of The Queen of the May, a procession through the town to the castle and the symbolic slaying of Jack on the stage so that the Spirit of the Summer can be released.
Event information provided by Whatsonwhen.com
———————- Back to moi!
Anyway, I met an awesome friend a few weeks back and he and I have been planning cool times around the coming year that we can meet up and have fun at these festivals. We hope to go to this festival, but I still need to book time off, so I hope I get an automatic day off to go. If I do go, I’ll post pics and stuff up here to show y’all! Anyway, I wish and I hope everything will work out, if not then there’s always a fair/festival coming soon!
Merry (future) Beltaine!! xx