VIDEO: Jack-in-the-Green festivities in Hastings draw out tens of thousands

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Tens of thousands of people lined the streets today (Monday May 4) for the annual Jack-in-the-Green festivities.

Old Town was a sea of green amid a riot of colourful garlands displayed by participants in the procession and visitors who enjoyed the fun.

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The streets were thronged with Morris dancers, giants and colourful characters.

The Jack-in-the-Green is a man in a cage covered in leaves. He dances and cavorts around the Old Town on May Day Bank Holiday Monday. This is followed by the procession of Morris dancers, giants and people dressed in springtime fancy dress.

The procession started at the Fisherman’s Museum in Rock-a-Nore Road, then wound its way up All Saints Street and down High Street with thousands of residents and visitors watching the spectacle.

Many Morris dancing and drumming groups took part, including Mad Jacks Morris, Stix Drummers, Black Swan Border Morris and Pentacle Drummers.

The slaying of the Jack took place around 3pm on the West Hill. After the dancing, the Bogies, of which there were more than 20, paraded the Jack down to the stage where he was symbolically slain and the ‘spirit of Summer’ released for another year.

Keith Leech MBE, chairman of the Jack-in-the-Green organising committee, together with Mad Jacks Morris Dancers, brought back the traditional Jack-in-the-Green event in 1983 after it had died out at the turn of the last century.

Hastings’ Jack-in-the-Green festivities have become internationally famous as last May the event delighted audiences in South Korea after a documentary featuring Jack-in-the-Green was aired in the East Asian country.

The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) commissioned a documentary, Colors4Desires, which looked at the different meanings of red, blue, white and green in different cultures, and the colour green brought the South Korean film crew to Hastings.