Since 1980 the city has seen the revival of the historic Rochester Jack-in-the-Green May Day dancing chimney sweeps tradition, which had died out in the early 1900s. Though not unique to Rochester (similar sweeps’ gatherings were held across southern England, notably in Bristol, Deptford, Whitstable and Hastings), its revival was directly inspired by Dickens’ description of the celebration in Sketches by Boz.
The festival has since grown from a small gathering of local Morris dance sides to one of the largest in the world. The festival begins with the “Awakening of Jack-in-the-Green” ceremony, and continues in Rochester High Street over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
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