Easter has arrived late this year leaving only two weeks before we celebrate May Day, with our official bank holiday on Monday 5th May. Maybe you are considering some home improvements such as adding shutters to your home instead of celebrating the May Day festivities this year. But with our great offer on cream and white shutters that ends on the 30th April, you could finish your home improvements and still have time to celebrate May Day!
To whet your appetite here are a few of the traditional May Day festivals that are being held around the country.
Oxford May Day
Upheld for many years this traditional Oxford celebration is a magical event steeped in history. The Magdalen College choristers welcome in the new day singing from the great tower. From 5am thousands of spectators start gathering in the streets to join in the celebrations. With many activities planned across the city, Oxford could be the answer to your May Day outing.
Padstow May Day – Obby-Oss Day
This unique event is one of the country’s oldest May Day traditions, with roots dating back to the 14th Century. Thousands of people travel to Padstow year after year, from far and wide to join the official celebrations. Starting at midnight the Night Song is sung by a group of ‘Mayers’ to the owners of the Golden Lion Inn. As the whole town comes alive in the early hours of the morning the traditional Peace ‘Oss procession begins, accompanied by a teaser and many, many dancers. The town is adorned in beautiful colours and spring greenery, a spectacle not to be missed.
May Day Bike Run
This event is now in its 36th year and is going from strength to strength. Police estimates state that over 76,000 people attended last year, along with over 32,000 bikes. Traditionally the ride starts in Locksbottom and ends in Hastings but nowadays bikers come from all over the country. With many exhibition stands, live music and big screens showing bike documentaries there is plenty to see and do for everyone.
Flora Day, Helston
Marking the end of winter the Helston Flora Day is one of the oldest surviving May Day customs in the country. The celebrations start at 7am with the Helston Town Band striking the first beat as the first dance of the day begins. Approximately 80 couples dance through the streets entering houses along the way to chase away the darkness of winter and bring in the light of spring. Various dances continue throughout the day finishing with The Evening Dance that everyone can join.
Morris Dancing at the Cerne Abbas Giant, Cerne Abbas
If you fancy watching some traditional Morris Dancing why not join the Wessex Morris Men on May 1st as they dance on the traditional maypole site at the head of the Cerne Abbas Giant. It’s an early start with the dancing beginning at 5.15am. Afterwards you can head back to the village and enjoy a well-deserved breakfast at The Royal Oak.