May Day Celebrations, Customs and Traditions

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Maypole DancingMay Day is nearly upon us and there are a lot of traditions linked with the day.

It was made a bank holiday in England in 1978 and instead of being May 1st, it is the first Monday in May. People have fairs, gatherings and maypole dancing to celebrate the start of the farming season when the planting, growing and harvesting cycle begins in England.

May Day is also known as Labour Day in many parts of the world. Russia, France, Korea and many other countries amalgamated their spring festival with a celebration of better working conditions so May 1st is a holiday for a different reason!

In Oxford it is the tradition for people to gather on Magdalen Bridge, beneath the College tower to listen to the college’s choir sing to welcome the day. Many people used to jump off the bridge into the water but that is too dangerous, some people got badly injured on the in the shallow water.  In London there is a “Mayday run” which is not for runners but for motorbikes, which make their way from London and finish in Hastings.

Recommended websites for further information:

Woodland school resources  for Mayday

Woodland School Maypole dancing

Woodland School Morris Dancing

May Day Craft Ideas

May Day Activities

Oxford May Morning

The May Day Run

Have a lovely May Day!