Twelfth Night celebration held

A colourful celebration of Twelfth Night, full of modern festivity and ancient traditions, was held today near Shakespeare's Globe theatre.

e636f7c0-762e-11e3-8f4e-0a0c0223000020140107T002445
A group of Shakespearean performers on the steps of the Globe Theatre during the annual celebration of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night on the South Bank

A colourful celebration of Twelfth Night, full of modern festivity and ancient traditions, was held today near Shakespeare's Globe theatre.

Characters from pub signs, pagan myths and folklore, including the Holly Man decked in a green gown and evergreen foliage, joined the public on the banks of the River Thames for the annual celebration.

In an ancient act aimed at encouraging good growth, the Holly Man took charge of the traditional toast, or wassail, to the people, the River Thames and the Globe.

The crowds got to see a procession featuring performers from the Lions Part group, who get together every year to mark the changing seasons and explore English heritage.

A combat play, storytelling, dancing and mulled wine helped to round off the event.