Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Decorative hand made relief carved ceramic green man tile


6x6 handmade relief carved green man ceramic tile/plaque
A lovely May day eve here with the wonderful signs of fertility everywhere!
The last day of April is the eve of the ancient fertility festival of Beltane, also known as May Day.
Traditionally associated with the Celtic god of fire, light and sun, Bel or Balor and green man, one of the most powerful fertility symbols in western culture. Rituals revolving around fire played an important role in Beltane celebrations, which like most all spring festivals around the world were enacted to ensure the communities health and fertility for the coming year. It was also a traditional time for 'hand fasting' a vow of partnership which pre dates modern wedding customs but has essentially the same meaning. 
During the 16th & 17th centuries in the UK May Day was celebrated with garlands of flowers and leaves. These garlands became increasingly elaborate to the extent that they would cover an entire man. This became known as Jack in the green, associated with the green man. By the turn of the 19th century, the Victorian disapproval of bawdy, anarchic behaviour replaced the somewhat lewd lord & lady of the May and their practical jokes with a pretty, demure May queen. The noisy, drunken Jack in the green vanished altogether from the May day parades. The Jack in the green custom finally enjoyed a revival in the 1970's and continues in some places today.

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