Current Events
May Day
Valentine's Bloopers
A Bridle in the Stable
Men Losing Power
Evolution is a Fact
Language of Animals
Egypt's early sun goddess
Athena - forces of nature
Short Stories
Tripped by a Cat
Feng shui
The New Kettle

Nancy Sherer

Dancing around the Maypole

Ancient ceremonies around the Maypole were annual festivals to celebrate the excitement of the coming of spring. Bright flowers springing from the earth would be more exciting if you lived in primitive dwellings as people did over two thousand years ago. Today when a trip to the supermarket yields fresh blossoms any day of the year, there is not as much incentive to gladden our hearts over spring.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1945, the earliest picture of the maypole was found in a drawing in a window in Betley Hall in Straffordshire built by King Edward IV. Size of the window or where Betley Hall is in Staffordshire county the article does not specify. Maybe the building no longer exists although many 600 year old buildings are still standing. The drawing of the entire window is shown below. We are beholden to the artist at any rate because maypoles were not considered worthy of woodcuts or other methods of printing. The festival was ridiculed by Roman conquerors as they introduced Christianity.

Early mention of the ritual describes choosing a standing birch tree - they grow straight and tall in the forest - attaching streamers to the branches and weaving them around and around in movements appreciative of the coming spring. Modern maypoles can be constructed from a pole either set in the ground or in cement with streamers attached to the top. In 1905 the ladies (below) decorated their streamers with flowers and made a grand affair of their festival. Be creative and have fun. For instructions on construction of May-poles and suggested dances go to May-poles

Back to Index or Click for Home Page

Copyright 1997 - 2004

All rights reserved