Folk customs such as the Jack in the Green in Hastings are wonderfully eccentric expressions of a sense of place and community. This year is the 30th anniversary of the revival of an annual celebration with its roots in the pagan festival of Beltane. During the May Bank Holiday weekend there are various events and processions in the town. As well as the morris dancers and chimney sweeps, there are many ‘bogie’ or green men, who are the attendants of the Jack in the Green - an enormous garlanded and crowned man that is carried through the town and burned at the end of the festival. Here are some pictures of my favourite green men and women (including the charismatic Simon Costin, set designer and director of the Museum of British Folklore.)
It’s great that such events continue to grow - I have been going for a few years and this year it seemed bigger than ever. Thanks to all the bogeymen and women who kindly agreed to be photographed. Next year I’m going to make more effort than just a wreath of ivy and a green nose!