A grand old English tradition played out today, on a cold and grey misty morning at the summit of one of North Kent’s most beautiful spots, Blue Bell Hill.
The Jack in the Green awakening ceremony happens at dawn on May Day, when Morris dancers and Sweeps bring Jack back to life as part of the heralding of spring fertility. It also marks the beginning of Rochester’s famous Sweeps Festival over the bank holiday weekend, now in its 33rd year of entertaining the masses with folk song and dance.
A full programme will be available in Rochester over the weekend, but you can book tickets for some performers on the Visit Medway website here.
As part of Morris side Wolfshead and Vixen (current Green Shield holders) I was there to support them (they’re the ones all in black). Since I only know one dance at the moment, my debut is some time away but I did nab some piccies, which you can view below. I somehow failed to notice the ITV cameraman wandering around entirely – see their video here. I look forward to seeing you all there next year 😀