English May Day Celebrations

Morris Dancing

Morris dancing is a traditional English form of folk dance which is also performed in other English-speaking countries such as the USA and Australia. The roots of Morris dancing seem to be very old, probably dating back to the Middle Ages. From around April and through the green summer months troupes of Morris Dancers adorned with ribbons will be seen in market towns and on village greens up and down the land. You are especially likely to see them performing their medieval dances to the click clack of their sticks and the sound of bells, pipes, and drums, around the month of May.

In the dance men dress up in costumes with hats and ribbons and bells around their ankles. They dance through the streets and one man often carries an inflated pig’s bladder on the end of a stick. He will run up to young women in the street and hit them over the head with the pig’s bladder, this is supposed to be lucky!