October Plenty is an autumn harvest festival which is held each October in Southwark. A colourful procession of medieval pageantry weaves its way through the ancient cobbled streets of the Thames walkway to Borough market. Led by the formidable Green Man, the procession is a joyful celebration of the passing seasons and the abundance of the harvest.
The October Plenty Autumn Harvest Festival procession
The procession starts from the famous Globe theatre and is led by the Green Man who is traditionally a nature spirit in Celtic Folklore.
Resembling a striding Christmas tree, the Green Man or “Berry Man” as he is referred to in this festival, is decked with fruits and wild foliage.
The colourful procession continues along the path of the Thames with the Green Man’s female counterparts dressed in dazzling rich red, ochre and deep blue capes and feathers.
The joy of this festival is that spectators are invited to join in with the procession and are allowed to get close enough to enjoy some banter with the main protagonists.
The costumes range from horse-back cavalry men, courtesans and minstrels through to lions, deer and bears.
The centrepiece of the procession is the Corn Queene effigy which is laden down with the load of “plenty” – in the form of wheat, barley, grains, vegetables and foliage from Borough Market.
On arrival at Borough Market, there are bemused looks from startled shoppers as the sound of medieval drumming marks the arrival of the Green Man and his merry gang. Some of whom are only too happy to pose for photo opportunities.
October Plenty and Apple day at Borough Market
Borough market joins in the festivities by holdings its very own Apple Day celebrations. Apple tastings, apple bobbing and pinning wishes to the apple tree are just a few of the harvest activities on offer.
There’s also a special harvest festival for children with theatre performances and a dedicated story telling area.
The October Plenty Autumn Harvest Festival takes place in mid-October every year. For more information, visit: