Eastbourne Lammas Festival this weekend

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Eastbourne Lammas Festival, the free annual extravaganza of music, dance and entertainment that’s steeped in folklore, returns to the seafront this weekend (Saturday July 30 and Sunday July 31).

It’s taking place on the Western Lawns, King Edward’s Parade, and offers something for all the family.

Now in its 15th year, the festival raises money for the RNLI. One of the highlights is the carnival parade along the seafront on the Saturday, featuring dancers, drummers and musicians.

Visitors are invited to join in wearing fancy dress, painted faces and flowers in their hair.

The open air Lammas Ritual will take place at approximately 5.30pm on the Saturday.

The word lammas’ comes from the old English loaf mass’ and is a celebration of Earth’s bounty in which bread made from the first cut of corn of the harvest is blessed. The first known celebration was before the 12th century.

Lammas is said to be a time of transformation, rebirth and new beginnings.

The John Barleycorn dance is written and performed by Hunters Moon Morris. The dancers wear the colours associated with the four elements that John Barleycorn needs in order to live and grow: Earth - green/brown, Air - yellow/white, Fire - red, and Water - blue.

The dance culminates when John Barleycorn is fully grown and is slain to provide the harvest. He is then revived and the cycle of growth, death and rebirth begins once again.

To find out more about the festival visit the website at www.lammasfest.org

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