Jack in the Green

Where: Various locations around the UK
When: May - some on 1st or near date, others later in month
Time: Times vary - see individual articles for details

 

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Jack in the Green is a modern revival of the old May custom of parading a greenery-clad flower-decorated man around town to welcome the spring. Jack will often be part of a large parade such as that at Knutsford Royal May Day (see separate article) or will be accompanied by his own musicians and dancers such as at Bristol. At Hastings he even has his own weekend long festival (that’s where the photo came from)! You may see a play where the Jack is slain to release the spirit of summer, and pieces of greenery may be distributed for luck. A number of Jacks in the Green are listed here on the website, mostly around May 1st or during the month of May, but as the number and frequency has fortunately increased it isn’t possible to be exhaustive, especially when the Company of the Green Man already do such a good job of keeping track of all the current Jacks. In some cases they appear annually without fail, whereas others are less frequent and regular or are part of a one-off event.

Helpful Hints

Check the individual listings for details of the festivals on this site – most will appear under the listings for May or head to https://thecompanyofthegreenman.wordpress.com where you will find details of all the known Jacks for the current year, many with excellent photos.