When: 3rd – 5th May 2014
Where: Clun, Shropshire
£: Free (there is an admission charge for Monday’s craft fair in the castle grounds, £5 for Adults and £1 for children, under 5s go free)
What is it?
The Clun Green Man Festival is a traditional annual springtime event with music, drama and medieval merriment. The highlight of the festival is a battle between the ‘Green Man’ and the ‘Ice Queen’, symbolising a battle between the seasons.
The Green Man is a symbol of rebirth and often used to represent spring. The Green Man is usually depicted as a face made from leaves and other vegetation. This face can be found in various forms, commonly seen in wood and stone carvings on buildings and furniture, as well as on traditional pub signs. The Clun Green Man is unique to the area and has a face made of leaves and deer antlers on his head.
The Clun Green Man Festival kicks off on Saturday 3rd May with a children’s workshop at Hightown Community Rooms from 10.30am. The workshop offers the opportunity for people to join in and make something to wear in the Monday procession.
On Sunday 4th May, the Frost Queen’s Battle takes place The Square. There will be street entertainment throughout the day from AT James, Les Amis D’onno, the Clun Mummers, the Naomi Payne Hotsy Totsy Band, Animal Man and Sylvesta the Jester. The events in The Square will begin at 12 noon with morris dancing. The entertainment continues until 4.15pm when the Green Man, the Frost Queen and the Swords of Chivalry battle in The Square. The entertainment will then resume at 4.30pm with live music from the Naomi Payne Hotsy Totsy Band, playing vintage jazz and blues and continues into the evening with music from The Rhythm Thieves.
On Monday 5th May there is pre-battle entertainment on the Bridge from 11.30am. At 12 noon the Green Man approaches the Bridge accompanied by the May Queen. The famous Battle on the Bridge then follows. The tradition states that if the Green Man does not defeat the Frost Queen there will be no summer in the Clun Valley! If he wins (and we suspect he will) then the Traditional May Fair will open in the grounds of Clun Castle.
The fair will feature the Green Man, a fire and drumming display, stalls and traditional craft demonstrations. There will also be morris dancing, strolling entertainers, James the Tree, jugglers, Sylvesta the Jester and a magician. Not to mention battle re-enactments and an equestrian display with Les Amis D’onno, live music, maypole dancing, a circus workshop, a hula workshop, garlands, face painting, duck racing, a beer tent and other refreshments.
More info: www.clungreenman.org.uk