We certainly had the weather for a midsummer parade this solstice. Even at 6pm on Wednesday 21st June it was 33 degrees, the hottest day since 1976 and the hottest summer solstice since records began. This did not deter the Garlick Man and his beautiful partner the Old Nag from gathering on Telegraph Hill from two separate points and from parading the lower park together, to be wed by a jovial celebrant in the top park. They were surrounded by an entourage of guests draped in ivy and playing folk tunes on recorders and drums.
The solstice is celebrated in different ways around the world, to welcome in summer. This is a local one which I last joined in 2013 (more photos here). It was not a long parade this time, due to the extreme heat, but it attracted a lively throng of people including many youngsters who had made a banner and costumes in workshops before the event. It also attracted a fair few smiling onlookers.
The Garlick Man (who began from the Hill Station) and the Old Nag (from Goldsmiths allotments) were a truly beautiful couple whose costumes you can only appreciate by remembering the heat. Here are some photos to give you a proper flavour of what you missed, or some memories if you were there (click on one to see it in a larger size).
With big thanks to the organiser Katherine Perry and everyone who took part. It’s such a fun, peaceful tradition which I really hope to be part of again next year.