Tuesday, 3 May 2011

May Day Mayhem! Jack in the Green and Motorbikes Galore!

May Day in my home town of Hastings is a big event. Not only is there the fantastic Jack in the Green procession and events but over 30,000 bikers descend on the town. Both of these traditions have been around for over 25 years now and it always amazes me how much everyone in the town gets into it and how many people visit the town to join in with the festivities!

The "Jack" led the procession along with The Bogies and Black Sal. There were chimney sweeps, Morris dancing troupes, the May Queen, the Giants, Sambalanco and rumpledrumskin drummers as well as some green and fabulously dressed participants! If, as watchers of the procession, you aren't wearing green then the Bogies "green" you - basically you get a splodge of green facepaint on your nose! It's all very random, but perfectly normal in the madness of Hastings Old Town of course!

All Saints Street was totally filled with people as the procession came through to the rythm of drums.

Every May Day, houses, pubs and shops in the Old Town adorn their houses with ribbons and leaves and most people wore leaves and flower garlands in their hair (including me!). Everything was so pretty! I think it should be a rule that the ribbons, leaves and flowers should stay all year round!

Some of the costumes were amazing!

The giants in All Saints Street

There is practically no event in Hastings that doesn't involve drumming and I love it!

After the procession had weaved its way through the narrow Old Town streets it wound up in Hastings Castle grounds where there was dancing, beer tents, sea shanties, and celebrations ending in the "slaying of the Jack" to see in Summer.

Every street was absolutely FILLED with people!

Oh... and bikes too! Every year more and more of the carparks, pavements, even the middle of the road, is filled with motorbikes. Bikers travel from around the county, and from afar to spend a (usually) sunny May Day in Hastings. This year the weather was amazing and there seemed to be even more bikers than ever!

The main carpark

... and here is a random guy dressed as a knight posing on the cliffs near the Castle - only in Hastings! :D

Just to finish off this post here's my outfit for the day... with my new Cath Kidston polka dot bag - courtesy of my generous mum and dad as a "well done" for a successful teaching pool interview.

How did you spend May Day? Does your town have any traditions?


Jewel said...

Hi Abbie, Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting! Glad you like my finds! Your may day celebrations looked fantastic! x

Claire said...

It looks amazing!
And Hastings looks beautiful!

Barbara von Enger said...

I spent the day lounging at the house, feasting on ripened fruits, reading, riding and cooking. Your day sounds like it was a great deal of Fun!;-)

SABINNA and DAVID said...

yeay, this is really awesome!!

xx, Sabinna and David


daisychain said...

Wow, it looks fantastic (and so do you!)