Castleton Ancient Garland Ceremony
Castleton Garland 2023 - 29th May 2023
What is the Garland Ceremony
Castleton Garland Day is held on May 29 (unless that date falls on a Sunday, when the custom is transferred to the Saturday or the Monday) in the village of Castleton in the Derbyshire Peak District. The Garland King, on horseback, and covered to the waist in a heavy, bell-shaped floral Garland, leads a procession through the village.
The date of the custom coincides with Oak Apple Day and it is said to commemorate the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. Presumably the Garland is meant to represent the oak tree in which he hid after the Battle of Worcester. Some folklorists suspect that it is actually a much older custom that transferred from May Day as many May celebrations did after having been banned by the Puritans. The Garland King certainly resembles a kind of Jack in the Green.