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The Holly Man

The Holly Man emerges from the Thames

The Holly Man, the winter guise of the Green Man, (a character from pagan myths and folklore), decked in fantastic green garb and evergreen foliage, appears from the River Thames every January.

imag: Holly Man

Follow this link to read more of the Twelfth Night celebrations with th Holly Man

The Green Man

Hidden on the walls of many churches in the UK can be found a strange figure, a face surrounded by leaves. He is known as the Green Man.

Green Man
A Green Man carving on the walls in Winchester Cathedral

There are also many pubs called The Green Man.

The Green Man is thought to represent life, death, fertility and rebirth. He brings nature and mankind together. The Green Man is usually depicted in carvings with leafy vines growing around his body, from his face, mouth, eyes, nose and ears.

Green Man Characters



The Green Man is connected with the folklore figure Jack-in-the-Green, who appears in May Day festivities as far back as the 18th Century.

Jack-in-the-Green is a seven foot mascot representing the coming of Spring. The jack is played by a man all dressed in a towering costume of leaves,

The Holly Man and the Berry Man

The Holly Man
The Berry Man
The Holly Man
The Berry Man


The Berry Man is an Autumn incarnation of the original Green Man.

The Berry Man is covered with wild fruits and foliage and is seen in October.

The Berry Man


Holly Man celebration in London

Also on this day .....

Harold II crowned king of England in 1066. He fought William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

3 January 1777: The Battle of Princeton ended with George Washington’s defeat of the British, led by Cornwallis.

3 January 1924: English explorer Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt.

3 January 1988: Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century.


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