Crowning of the Queen of May in HastingsMayday celebrations on the south coast
Hastings Castle, England UK [map], Photo/article © urban75, Sun 5th May 2012
Over the annual Mayday Bank Holiday weekend, the south coast town of Hastings is taken over by celebrations for the 'Hastings Jack in the Green,' which sees pagan processions and ceremonies taking place around the streets and in the castle grounds.
Although firmly rooted in traditional customs, the modern celebrations were revived in Hastings by Mad Jacks Morris Dancers as recently as 1983.
Classic English weather greeted visitors to the crowning of the Queen of May ceremony, set high above the town at Hastings Castle.
Looking down to the ceremony site at the castle, with Hastings pier in the far distance.
The castle was built around 1066 after William of Normandy had successfully invaded England.
Much of the castle has been lost by sea erosion over the centuries, with the ancient structure dealt further damage from enemy bombing action during World War II. The castle was bought by Hastings Corporation in 1951 and now serves as a tourist attraction.
The procession gets ready.
The compere onstage, complete with umbrella. Note the 'throne' behind.
The procession gets underway.
Arriving at the central arena.
Crowning the new Queen of May.
The Town Crier belts out the announcements.
The first Maypole dance gets ready.
Maypole dancing under a threatening sky.
The procession leaves the arena.
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