in Weird & Wonderful at in Hastings and Battle
4 - 7 May 2012 (annual)
04 May 2013 - 07 May 2013 (TBC)
04 May 2014 - 07 May 2014 (TBC)
This traditional and quirky Morris-dancing festival in Hastings attracts people from all over the country. Taking place over one wild weekend, it culminates in a procession and a ceremony called Slaying of the Jack on the last day.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, people in England would make garlands of flowers and leaves for the May Day celebrations. The tradition developed until people bedecked themselves in foliage. Chimney boys often covered themselves in grass and were nicknamed "Jack in the Green".
The custom eventually died out, but in 1979 the Mad Jacks Morris Dancers decided to revive Jack, adding a programme of Morris dancing, ceilidhs, processions and the symbolic slaying of Jack so that the Spirit of the Summer can be released.
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