A May Day Tradition

'The world's favourite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.' - Edwin Way Teale.

he Fowler's Troop Musicians Follow the Deptford 'Jack in the Green'

The first of the month, May Day, in England is often associated with parades and protest, country carnivals and Bank holidays and peculiar pagan ceremonies wrapped in obscure folklore and tradition.

One such tradition, which has actually enjoyed a revival in certain parts of the country since the mid 1980’s, is ‘The Jack in The Green’ procession where the ‘Jack’, a man inside a frame, decorated head to toe with foliage, garlands and flowers, is accompanied by a party of musicians and sundry supporters to celebrate the beginning of summer. I have included a couple of photographs to give you a visual idea of this rather eccentric English custom.

he Fowler's Troop Musicians Follow the Deptford 'Jack in the Green'
The Fowler's Troop Musicians Follow the Deptford 'Jack in the Green'

 

A local group to me, known as The Fowler’s Troop and the Deptford Jack in The Green, have played out this good humoured, spirited charade for many years and boast one of the tallest and heaviest modern ‘Jacks’. This May Day, dressed in Edwardian costume, the minstrels and like minded revellers paraded the ‘Jack’ through the old neighbourhood of Greenwich, beginning and ending at the same pub, and stopping for a pint or something stronger at regular intervals along the route.

Members of the Fowler's Troop
Members of the Fowler's Troop

 



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Nick said...

Thanks for reading my blog post. Please let me know what you think. English only please :)

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Nick Fleming Behind the Lens

Nick Fleming and sadhu at dawn on the ghats at Varanasi (<a target="_blank" href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Resting at Gaumukh, source of the Ganges (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Portrait session with young sadhu during the Kumbh Mela in Hardwar (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Milan Bharti making a cup of tea, Varanasi (<a target="_blank" href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Near Jammu (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Photographing in Patthar Masjid, Srinagar, Kashmir (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
First light by the Ganges in Varanasi (<a target="_blank" href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Photographing as Nihangs leave the mela ground at the end of Hola Mohalla in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
With Baba Avtar Singhji and Buga Singh and members and friends of Baba Bidi Chand Dal in Anandpur Sahib. (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
In the mountains near Kedarnath (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
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