“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Borough Market is currently celebrating 1000 years of history, and this year’s Apple Day pulled out all the stops with a proper harvest festival. Players put on traditional skits featuring English folk heroes like Robin Hood and anthropomorphic woodland creatures, Morris dancers performed, and a Green Man (a pagan throwback, probably to harvest and fertility gods) presided in a fab costume. The big deal this year was a display of 1000 apple varieties, including the oldest known variety to come to Britain. There were tasting stations to try the apples, the kitchens hosted baking classes, and generally a nicely traditional time was had by all!
Some of the varieties of apples grown in and near London throughout the centuries.
The players performing, alongside a Corne Queene, a traditional symbol of plenty and constructed entirely of harvest bounty.
The Green Man (also called the Berry Man and any other number of names across the centuries), a symbolic nature figure who appears in literature and traditions across Europe.
One of the players hands out conkers…
And the Morris dancers immediately start a game!