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Maypole Dancing

972 of 1160 nominations


Maypole Dancing

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Maypole Dancing

The coming of the summer months has been celebrated for generations by the collection of bushes or garlands of flowers and the raising of maypoles. May bushes are recorded in England in the 1200s while the earliest references to maypoles start around 1350, when they came to represent fertility. The marking of May reached its height in the 1500s – Shakespeare mentions it in 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' where Helena is compared to a “painted maypole’. For many centuries, maypole dancing was the chief dance of rustic England, but today it seems to be confined to village green fetes. Young girls dance around the pole holding ribbons that get woven into elaborate plaits. Although sometimes ending in tears as dance steps are forgotten or as the ribbons get tangled, it is the demonstration of an English tradition that is in danger of dying out. Vote if you agree!


Your comments

It is the very essence of englishness, dancing around the maypole has been done for centuries.

Don Turner

I remember my great great-aunt telling me about dancing round a maypole in Manchester when she was a girl. That's a fact, and that's a heck of a long time ago. I'm just sick of these pedantic people trying to deny English people what is clearly part of their tradition and heritage. It may not be exclusively English, but we believe it's as much ours as anyone else's, so shove off and pester the Americans who also have a tradition in maypole dancing. Just leave us and our heritage alone, oh, and get a life.
Phil Drane

Has formed part of the history of Britain for so long - pagan roots. Remember dancing around the mayplole as a child in England. The maypole was erected on the front lawn of my infant school. Great fun!
sib pryce

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer