The Arthurian Legends 5 - The Green Man n the artwork of many of the cathedrals of France and Britain are representations of a figure called the “Green Man.” This is a Celtic figure, a kind of vegetation god, sometimes referred to as John o’ the Green, a figure who comes out all dressed in green leaves and vines who is ritually “killed” once a year, usually at May Day or Beltane celebrations, so that the crops will be successful.  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a story that combines the legends of King Arthur’s Court, the background of the Templars, and the figure of the Green Man into a legend about personal growth, morality, and purity. To read an excellent translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Jessie L. Weston, go to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight website. For more information on the Green Man, see the following work: Anderson, William.  Green Man. San Francisco: Harper, 1990. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily