Thursday, 9 May 2013

Green Man Day 2013



The Green Man may have won the battle for supremacy over Frosty, the cruel Ice Queen, and installed the May Queen on her throne for what is laughably known as summer hereabouts, but there’s no guarantee that he can defeat regular English weather gods, who have been throwing bitter winds and driving rain at us today, just three days later.


The Battle on the Bridge is the dramatic focal point of the Green Man weekend, and always takes place at noon on Mayday (Spring Bank Holiday Monday). The Green Man and Ice Queen each have their entourage and approach the Bridge in procession from opposite sides. The Green Man comes down the hill from the Church with the May Queen, whilst the Frost Queen descends Bridge Street with her little icicles. Thousands of visitors come for the weekend to join in the spectacle, while half the inhabitants barricade themselves in and don’t appear until the last teacups and beer mugs have been fished out of the river and village dogs have retrieved and eaten all remnants of burgers, stuffed bread rolls and ice cream cones.

The weather was glorious, the crowds lively, and the many different bands, canned music, the man with the chainsaw carving animal shapes, and whistling public address systems, all competed with each other for attention.


 Mid-morning stallholders set up tents and gazebos.

 Getting in supplies for the tea tent.


 Portable toilets handily placed behind the large beer tent.
One in - one out, 
quick turnover assured.

 Let the fun begin.




30 comments:

  1. looks like lots of fun to me...finally got a break in the rain here today...glad it was lovely for the event though...

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  2. Wow, look at all the sunshine! Looks like the Green Man won. At least for awhile. :-)

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  3. Did Millie get a burger? Or a stuffed roll?

    I remember the fairs and sideshows on Epsom Downs for the Derby meeting.
    The earliest sanitary facility that I recall was a large white tent with a barker outside shouting
    Piddle and poop a penny.

    In later years more sophisticated facilities were provided...green and cream double decker buses converted to provide multiple loos.....and much pleasure was obtained on the journey to school on the day after the meeting watching sleepy commuters hailing a double decker convenience at the non obligatory bus stops.

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  4. What a great tradition. My kids would love it, or at least would have when they were little.

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  5. Now that is a tradition I could get into!

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  6. Why do our spring celebrations seem so common and stupid and predictable and yours seem so quaint and charming? I have got to stop watching Midsummer Murders and romanticizing the English countryside.

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  7. I see you were out there Friko - or did you just watch from he hillside as I would have done. Actually I think the Ice Queen was banished and ended up in Breckenridge. Thanks!

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  8. May is a fickle month. We still have lovely warm weather here - it was about 20 today and sunny - but we know it won't last and we'll be back to 12 or 13 and rainy before long.

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  9. Looks like fun. I hope the Ice Queen is banished for this season. We've had rain for two days. We need it. There has been 12 inches of snow in the little mountain town 20 miles from here. I am still in fleece pants and a fleece vest. We had warmer weather in February than we are having now. As Barb said, the Ice Queen came to Colorado. Enjoy the sunshine. I hope it lasts for you.

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  10. The festivities look like a lot of fun. I remember having May Day celebrations when I was a child, but I have not heard of that happening in many, many years.

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  11. Hold on to your hats as we prepare for a flurry of fĂȘtes. 'tis the season.

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  12. We colonials first met the May Queen via Led Zeplin's classic album.

    Aloha

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  13. we have a music festival in a big park every year - but last year it was so muddy they had to cancel

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  14. I have 3 Greenmen hanging in my garden. I love them.

    I am happy to see the sun is shining somewhere. We have had a week of rain and everything is drooping here. Dianne

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  15. I just LOVE this battle of Green Man and Ice Queen. What a perfect festival and great way to recognize spring. I've always been fond of Green Man sculpture. That's what I should get Gardener Rick for his new garden! He's very particular about things!

    Our lovely spring went south today and it's cold and rainy, and supposed to be getting colder, so I'm glad he hasn't put his seedling in yet. But I'm sure spring will be here to stay very, very soon.

    Happy weekend!

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  16. Looks like a lot of fun, Friko! Of course, I've heard of the Green Man, but this Ice Queen is new to me. I would love to have seen a photo of the little icicles.

    I'm glad that sun participated in the the festivities, too. xo

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  17. Thank goodness it took place last weekend, not this! It looks like great fun was had by all.

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  18. I would love to see this ! Never heard of the Green Man and the Ice Queen ! Anway the Ice Queen here is rather reluctant to leave and let the Green Man take her place !

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  19. Frico, I think the village dogs have been very pleased with this show!
    Of course the Green Man had to win icy and cold Queen!

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  20. And here I was expecting Maypole dancers. Your festivities look like much more fun than that!

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  21. Looks like a lot of fun. Nothing like that happens in this little town.

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  22. Hi Friko - it's lovely these traditions keep on isn't it. Gosh it's cold though and we had two days of lovely sunshine .. but this weekend the wind is stronger and looks like rain. It is green though and there was some pink around - the cherries .. how much will be left I don't know ..

    Oh to be in England now that's summer is here - please come summer! Cheers Hilary

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  23. Nothing so exciting happens here in my neck of the woods - we're rather boring it seems.

    Sunny here today which is warming to the cockles - long may it continue...

    Anna :o]

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  24. A planner with common sense? Toilets near beer. This is almost unheard-of logicality.

    But those bitter winds at least do let you appreciate the glorious weather much more when it comes. ~Mary

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  25. A mixed blessing, isn't it; I understand those who barricade themselves in their homes as well as those who love the event. I'd probably have been out there to see and hear the entire spectacle, with the weather being so favourable.

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  26. Wonderful for people-watching . I'm envious .

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  27. How interesting is that? Thanks for filling us in!

    =)

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  28. I so enjoyed reading this post. I've researched the old festivals of Europe for one of my books, and it's great to hear of a contemporary version of an old symbolic battle. Let's hope it brings you some good weather as I know how sick you are of the wintry stuff.

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  29. We had to do the Maypole thing when I was primary school . They made me wear long white socks and the shame was unbearable. Photos exist, I am afraid, but my attempts to gain access to them and shred them have thus far been thwarted. A Green Man festival would have been so much cooler. I like the idea of the Green Man. Sometimes, in the forest, (on days when we can venture out without swaddling ourselves in fleeces and waterproofs, you can almost feel his eyes on you as you walk through leafy glades. The knowing smile showing only in the eyes between the oak and hawthorn leaves of his beard and eyebrows mocking us silently for our hubris. I keep an eye out for him. But he is rather well camoflaged. His imperatives however rise within me at the first sign of warmth and sunshine in spring. I have a green make on a wall in my garden and I always nod acknowledgment to him for his part in our natures.

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