Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Jack-in-the-Green
綠人傑克

People dressed in green costumes celebrate around a Jack-in-the-Green on West Hill in Hastings, UK, on May 1.
民眾穿著綠色的服裝,圍繞著「綠人傑克」慶祝五朔節,五月一日攝於英國哈斯汀的西丘。

Photos: Paul Cooper, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報記者古德謙攝

A three-meter-tall structure decorated with twigs, leaves and branches, a green mask and a regal crown wends its way through the streets of Hastings Old Town. Somewhere inside is a weary man or woman — they take turns over the course of the parade — laboring under the weight of the edifice mounted on their shoulders. This is the “Jack-in-the-Green,” and it is followed by a retinue of revelers in pagan garb, sometimes jovial, often outlandish, predominantly green, always related in some way to Nature and the coming of the summer.

The day is May 1, the town is Hastings on the south coast of England, and the parade is part of the annual Jack-in-the-Green festival. In a few hours, Jack will be led onto a stage on the West Hill overlooking the old fishing harbor and seafront, and will be ceremoniously “slain,” releasing the spirit of summer. Everybody goes home with part of the dismantled greenery.

The May Day celebration in England goes back to Roman times. In the late 18th century, people would wear garlands of flowers and leaves, and in time work guilds would compete with each other for the most elaborate garlands. The Jack-in-the-Green figure evolved from the chimney sweeps’ guild, who made a garland so large it covered the entire person.

The tradition went out of fashion by 1889, with the Victorians frowning upon on the noisy and drunken revelry that often accompanied the celebrations. It was revived in Hastings in 1983 by a group of Morris dancers.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

那是一個三尺高的東西,用樹葉和大大小小的樹枝裝飾著,還配戴著綠色的面具和一個皇冠,在哈斯汀古鎮沿街走著。這裡面有個疲憊的人,負著肩上的龐然巨物努力前進。一整趟遊行的路程要分好幾個人輪流背。這龐然巨物就是「綠人傑克」,後面跟著一群狂歡者,身穿異教服飾,幾乎清一色著綠衣。他們態度快活,又大多怪里怪氣,打扮讓人聯想到大自然及夏天的到來。

這天是五月一日,在英格蘭南部海濱的哈斯汀鎮,這個遊行是一年一度的綠人傑克節。再過幾小時後,傑克就會被帶到西丘,從那裡可俯視整個漁港及濱海區,然後傑克就會在儀式中象徵性地被殺掉,以便將夏天的神靈釋放出來。活動結束後大家都會帶些拆卸下來的樹枝樹葉回家。

英國的五朔節活動可追溯至古羅馬時期。在十八世紀晚期,人們會戴上以花和葉子製成的花冠,而最後不同的公會之間會互相比賽誰的花冠做得最為精美。綠人傑克的造型是由掃煙囪公會的花冠演變而來的:他們把花冠做得超大,把整個人都蓋住了。

這個傳統在一八八九年就不流行了,因為這些慶祝活動常常伴隨吵鬧和醉醺醺的狂歡,令保守的維多利亞時代人相當看不慣。到了一九八三年,才由莫里斯舞者在哈斯汀所復興。

(台北時報編譯林俐凱譯)

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