Green Man Festival in Hastings, Sussex

British folk dancers, Morris men in Hastings, Sussex, UK on a May Bank Holiday. The earliest mention of Morris Men is in 1448 and records the payment of seven shillings to Morris Dancers by the Goldsmiths Company in London.

Castleton Garland Day, 29th May, Simon Costin, Museum of British Folklore

Castleton Garland Day, May, Simon Costin, Museum of British Folklore

The Thameside Mummers' "Derby Tup" as used in their performance of the Harthill mummers' play (Derbyshire)

The Thameside Mummers' "Derby Tup" as used in their performance of the Harthill mummers' play (Derbyshire) The "Animal" stands some 10 feet high when 'extended'. The "Tup" is a Ram's skull

Ms Hannant observed many of these customs have a distinct Pagan element. "That is what fascinated me particularly," the photographer said, "the desire to connect to a potential Pagan past." These customs also often attract a huge turnout, such as the Jack-in-the-Green in Hastings in May (pictured), which attracts thousands of people and has a parade including giants, Morris dancers and fire-eaters. They lead Jack to the top of the castle hill, where he is ceremonially slain.

In pictures: English ritual year

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green, Sussex (Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey Through the English Ritual Year, Sara Hannant)

Green Man on a boss in Lincoln Cathedral, England (photo Tina Negus)

Green Man on a boss in Lincoln Cathedral, England (photo Tina Negus)

Canal art, traditional.

An explanation for the popularity of Roses and Castles painting amongst the canal families was the intensity of colour which brightened even small boat cabins.

The Horn Dancers of Abbots Bromley

The Horn Dancers of Abbots Bromley

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011. Pictured is the Red Leicester Morris Man.  It is nearly 32 years, since Paul Whiting, looking for an alternative to rugby, alighted on the Red Leicester side. "Morris is very like rugby," says Whiting. "There's the same camaraderie and discipline. You dance as a team."

"Merrie England": Tim Walker Shoots English Folk Culture for Vogue UK July 2011

Padstow Obby Oss. May day

Padstow hobby horse: Each May Day in Padstow, Cornwall, a folk custom takes place where two separate processions make their way around the town, each containing someone dressed as a 'hobby horse' known as the 'Obby 'Oss.

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