Twelfth Night is an annual seasonal celebration held on the Bankside by Shakespeare's Globe, in London. It is a celebration of the New Year, mixing ancient Midwinter seasonal customs with contemporary festivity. It is free, accessible to all and happens whatever the weather.
The celebration is staged by group of professional performers, called The Lions Part.
To herald the celebration, the extraordinary Holly Man, the winter guise of the Green Man,
(a character from pagan myths and folklore, used on many pub signs in England), decked in fantastic green garb and evergreen foliage, appears from the River Thames brought by the Thames Cutter.
With the crowd, led by the Bankside Mummers, the Holly Man 'brings in the green' and
toasts or 'Wassail' the people, the River Thames and the Globe (an old tradition to encourage
good growth) with the London Town Crier.
After the toast or 'Wassail' to the people, the River Thames and the Globe, the Mummers then process to the Bankside Jetty, and perform the traditional 'freestyle' Folk Combat Play of St. George.
(Click here to go straight to the Mummers Play)
When is Twelfth Night? | Twelfth Day | Twelfth Night Traditions
Why is it unlucky to take down decorations after Twelfth Night?