My former hometown of Hastings, for all it’s downsides, is an awesome place, and it particularly excels when it comes to busting out the fancy dress, slapping on some facepaint and getting hammered. There’s Pirate Day in July, where everyone dresses up as pirates and gets drunk. There’s Fat Tuesday jn February, an incredible four day music festival that culminates in a night of…well, dressing up and getting drunk. But one of my favourite days in the calendar is our May Day celebration, Jack In The Green.
Jack in the Green became a part of English May Day festivities in the 1800s (thank you, Wikipedia), and is often linked with pagan fertility rites. It died out during the later Victorian era, but was thankfully revived in the 1970s, and returned to Hastings in 1983. Nowadays, May Day in my hometown includes one of the biggest annual gatherings of Morris Dancers, a gigantic motorbike rally, and…a whole bunch of people covering themselves in leaves, flowers and green face paint and getting drunk. Behold!
Above is my wonderful best friend Abi, who had to put up with me shoving my camera in her face for the entire day – sorry!
As well as decorating themselves, people also extend the festivities to children, inanimate objects, and dogs.
You did me proud, Hastings…now roll on Pirate Day!