Feeling rather smug at coming up with something clever and sneaky for the first week of ‘J’, hell yeah I can do this…
Jack in the Green is a figure often seen in the traditional May Day parade, he is usually someone wearing a large, foliage covered framework and is often accompanied by Robin Hood and Maid Marian.
Amongst modern Pagans Jack in the Green is mostly identified with the Green Man, he’s seen as a mischievous trickster and is a fertility symbol, he’s closely associated with nature and the Greenwood. He’s linked with mythical figures such as Robin Hood, the Green Knight, Robin Goodfellow, the Wild Man and Puck.
Personally I see Jack in the Green as a younger, more mischievous version of the Green Man; the latter can be seen in carvings on many older buildings. It’s common to see the image of the Green Man on Churches and Abbeys, which is something that has always seemed odd to me- it seems to signal that even in the height of Christianity Paganism creeps its way in.