Bristol Jack in the Green 2024: who he is and when and where to see him

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The folk custom has over 200 years of history and celebrates the coming of summer

The folk character, Jack in the Green, is set return this weekend to signal the start of summer.

Jack will bring the joy of the change of season on May 4 as his attendants play music throughout his journey through Bristol and Jack dances his way towards Horfield Common, where he dies and marks the start of Summer.

But who is Jack and where can you catch him this Saturday?

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Who is Jack in the Green?

Jack in the Green has been part of the May Day celebrations for over 200 years and is often associated with processions of chimney sweeps, for who the May Day was a special holiday.

He is an imposing nine feet tall figure who is hard to miss. He is vibrant and colourful and covered in greenery and flowers.

Jack’s attendants, completely disguised in green rags and vegetation, play music, dance and sing as Jack leads them through the streets to celebrate the coming of summer.

At the end of the journey, Jack dies to release the spirit of summer.

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Bristol Jack in the Green 2023. Jack is set to return this weekend to celebrate the start of summer.Bristol Jack in the Green 2023. Jack is set to return this weekend to celebrate the start of summer.
Bristol Jack in the Green 2023. Jack is set to return this weekend to celebrate the start of summer. | National World

When and where will he appear in Bristol?

On May 4, Jack in the Green in set to be awoken by the music and dancing of his attendants at 10.30am from the Harbourside near the M Shed (Museum Square, Princes Wharf).

Wide awake, Jack will dance off towards St Nicholas Market (11am) and St Edith’s Well in Castle Park (11.30am) and towards Broadmead (11.45am).

His journey continues through The Horsefair (noon), St Michael’s Hill (12.30pm), Kingsdown Parade (2.15pm), Redland Grove (3pm) and Gloucester Road (3.30pm) before reaching his final destination: Horfield Common (near Ash Road and Tennis Courts) at 4pm.

The end of his journey is marked with dancing and his poem before Jack dies to mark the start of Summer.

His foliage is stripped and taken away by onlookers to celebrate the arrival of summer.

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