Exploration

Jack in the Green Festival Celebrates Summer

Thousands of people gather in Hastings, England to celebrate the coming of summer at the Jack in the Green Festival

<p>Photo: Reuters</p>

If you've never seen thousands of people dressed up like hippie versions of the Jolly Green Giant, then you've probably never celebrated May Day in Sussex. Every year, the town of Hastings on the south coast of England celebrates the coming of summer with the Jack in the Green Festival. Jack in the Green is a four day event that attracts people from all over the country and culminates with a giant parade where everyone dresses in green clothes, paints their faces green, and covers themselves in green foliage.

According to their website, the festival has been described as "thee celebration of Morris dancing and traditional merriment, centering on the symbolic figure of Jack in the Green and culminating in a wild costumed parade - one of the most bizarre in Britain." At the end of the festival, the "Jack" character is symbolically slayed to release the spirit of summer.

Check out some of this year's best costumes below.

A woman celebrates Jack in the Green dressed as a giant bird covered in leaves and moss.

Reuters // Toby Melville

A man wears a jacket made entirely of synthetic leaves to celebrate Jack in the green.

Reuters // Toby Melville

This couple got creative with their head garments for Jack in the Green, taking time to fashion a watering can and a paper ship into wearable head pieces.

Reuters // Toby Melville

Some revelers took it a bit further, creating entire animal heads to wear for the Jack in the Green parade.

Reuters // Toby Melville

Even dogs participate in the Jack in the Green parade, wearing their best May Day costumes.

Reuters // Toby Melville

One woman helps another apply her lipstick for her Jack in the Green costume before the parade begins.

Reuters // Toby Melville

A very realistic Jack in the Green window display shows a man covered in leaves holding an excited squirrel with baby ducks perched on his chest.

Reuters // Toby Melville

A reveler wears an elaborate mask with leaves made of different fabrics for the Jack in the Green parade.

Reveler // Toby Melville