Hastings traditional Jack-in-the-Green was originally celebrated by at least two groups up until 1889, but changing social attitudes at the turn of the century frowned on such revellery! The festival was revived in 1983 and is now a firm favourite with local people and visitors.
About Jack in the Green
May Day celebrates the start of summer and has always been a day of celebration. The Romans dedicated the day to the Goddess Flora and would decorate a particular tree with ribbons and flowers - the origin of the May Pole.
In England in the 16th and 17th century, people would make garlands of flowers and leaves for the May Day celebration which became increasingly elaborate. Works Guilds would try to outdo each other and in the late 18th century this became a matter for competition with milkmaids in London carrying garlands on their heads, adorned with silver objects. Chimney sweeps produced a garland so big, it covered the entire man - becoming known as 'Jack in the Green'.