May 2015

Behold the Green Man

Artwork by UK Fantasy artist Lisa Parker

Originally posted May 6, 2015 written by Shelagh MacKinnon

Around noon on Saturday May 16th, Snug Cove will be transformed!  Flowers will decorate even the telephone poles!  Music will be heard, with a medieval sound to it, and a juggler will walk by.  The beautiful Maypole will be erected outside the Library with its wonderful spray of multi-coloured ribbons dancing in the sun.  The squeals of happy children will fill the air.  And the clothing!! Costumes carefully worn with some even being winged!
And then, the Green Man himself will appear….Where is he coming from? He is coming to us from the mists of time, coming from ancient England where he has been a part of their world for many, many hundreds of years.  If you travel to Great Britain you will see his likeness, a man with oak leaves on his face, in Christian cathedrals and in ancient garden walls.  He is older than the Christian story in Britain.  And he comes to reassure the people that winter is over and spring has arrived.  He is so covered with leaves and branches that you will not be able to see his face at all! He is Green! The colour of new life, new growth and the buds of this season.  HIs job is to defeat winter and send it packing….
Who represents winter? Why the Ice Queen, of course.  She is sometimes called the Frost Queen and she is beautiful in her icy outfit.  She wants to hang on to the weather for a while longer and make winter last. She carries a wand complete with icicles! She needs to be defeated so that we can enjoy summer!
There is a huge “battle” in front of us as you can clearly see!  So, we need young people, and other people of all ages to cheer these two on.  There is face painting for the two sides: bugs of green on the Green Man’s supporters; and ice crystals on those cheering on the Frost Queen!  The beautiful May Queen will be crowned at the end of the “battle of words.”
Come on down for the experience of hearing the Towne Crier inviting us to participate.  Plan now to wear a medieval type of costume!  We will see you at 11:30 at the Library and the patch of Union Steamship Land where the Summer market opens later in the summer.  There will be wand making  and singing and wonderful feasting.  We are grateful to our sponsors and supporters, and the musicians and jugglers and the committee of organizers
We would love it if you would pass along the word about this Green Man Festival to your friends!  We are a child centred, gentle (inspite of all our “battle” language) festival bringing an ancient practice to our little island.  By the time the first ferry of the afternoon arrives, we are all done!
What do the pictures of last year’s festival show?  They reveal people delighted to be part of this celebration of Spring handed down to us by ancient ancestors.  We hold this festival in order to share our own pleasure at this ancient festival.  Hope to see you there!

– Shelagh MacKinnon, Organizer

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