Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Green Man Festival

To try to explain the Green Man festival would take too long, and I'm not really sure I can! I know it's over 700 years old, and has its roots firmly in the 'old ways' as it were. There is an amazing procession that starts off in the centre of Barnstaple and makes its way, complete with samba bands and green people, and signs saying 'follow us to Pilton', and works its way from the centre of Barnstaple up to Pilton, which is a very old and previously separate part of the town. The procession works its way up Pilton high street, and into the Rotary Gardens. 


There are stalls demonstrating things, like spinning and felting, and leather work. There are places where the children can make things out of recycled materials, or have a go at french knitting. There are people dancing, and lying around on the grass in the sunshine. There are three stages spread over the length of Pilton high street playing rock at the bottom, folk in the middle and what ever else they have going at the top.

The Bluebell Group had a stall again, and I made a billion scones! It looked beautiful and a lot of thought and hard work went into it.

We set up opposite these folks, the Free Play truck. They had peg looms, and fleece, and bits of leather, and the children were entertained in there for hours. Particularly handy as there was a massive down pour shortly before the procession started. Note the slightly soggy looking Fred who has had his saturated trousers removed. I hung them to dry under part of the stall and whilst I took the children off for a wander, and apparently they were nearly sold! Frankie recognised them just in time!

They all made leather bracelets and felted balls, and Fin particularly appreciated the activities on offer, spending a lot of time quietly and patiently learning how to use the materials.

I really love the Green Man Festival. I love the noise, the stalls, all the performers, the greenery, the music, and the general ancient feel to the whole thing. I love how people dress up like hedges and do things the way they always have, and often have no idea of why! Just because that's what you do! Love it.

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