Historians believe the first maypole dance originated as part of Germanic pagan fertility rituals. Originally, the dancers danced around a living tree. While dancers usually perform this dance in the spring on May 1 or May Day, those in Sweden perform it during their midsummer celebrations.
What does maypole dancing signify?
Maypole dance, ceremonial folk dance performed around a tall pole garlanded with greenery or flowers and often hung with ribbons that are woven into complex patterns by the dancers. Such dances are survivals of ancient dances around a living tree as part of spring rites to ensure fertility.
What is the origin of dancing around the maypole?
Maypole dancing is a tradition on May Day. It is believed to have started in Roman Britain around 2,000 years ago, when soldiers celebrated the arrival of spring by dancing around decorated trees thanking their goddess Flora. These days dancers weave ribbons around a pole rather than a tree
What are the origins of Morris dancing?
Our style of dancing originated in the cotton mill towns and pit villages of the North West of England, where clogs were the usual type of working footwear and where the Morris tradition was performed by men, women and children.
When was maypole banned?
The Protestant Reformation put an abrupt end to the drinking and dancing that accompanied May Day in the Middle Ages. In 1644 maypoles were banned altogether in an Act of Parliament under the 17th century Protectorship of Oliver Cromwell.
What does May Day symbolize?
May Day is the first day of May, traditionally a celebration (or festival) of spring and the resurrection of nature after the winter months. It is normally associated with flowers, dancing and Maypoles, with celebrations sometimes including the crowning of a ‘May King’, or ‘Queen’.
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