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May Poles at the Ready!

May Day will be upon us before we know it so let's have a look at how it all started:-

On May Day, villages all over the country will be celebrating the coming of our British Summer! 

The tradition may have begun in Roman Britain, when soldiers celebrated the arrival of Spring by dancing around decorated trees to thank the goddess Flora. 

Or perhaps it is linked with pagan folklore - the Celts called it Beltane and selected a tree, stripped it of branches and decorated it with flower garlands. 

May Day was granted as a holiday to labourers in the Middle Ages - an excuse for high spirits around the Maypole and this image was 'cleaned up' by the Victorians, who made it into the rustic children's dancing we might see today on village greens with the crowning of the May Queen. 

This year there will be May Day celebrations in Kent at Rochester where a Jack-in-the-Green will process with Morris dancers through the City and at Hever Castle, where May Pole dancing will take place.  Hever Castle picture - copyright of Visit Kent (many thanks).

May Poles at the Ready!

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