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Maypole Dancing


Comment on Maypole Dancing

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.

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2007-03-02 by Phil Drane from Auckland, NZ


Comment on Maypole Dancing

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!

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-04-24 by sib pryce from Canada


Comment on Maypole Dancing

Maypoles are part and parcel of village greens, morris dancing, pagan fertility rites and womens institute fund raising. English through and through.

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-02-05 by Chris Beasley from Burntwood


Sri Lankan Maypole Dancing

Maybe "...the essence of Englishness..." but what was it doing in the 2005 Perahera at Kataragama in Sri Lanka? Did we get it from them or were they portraying the period of English influence? In the Perahera (procession), children in turbans, dressed like Indian princes, were plaiting tapes and clashing sticks as they danced around a portable Maypole. They then reversed direction to un-plait the tapes: Very impressive and skillful to dance around a moving Maypole!

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-02-04 by Richard S from UK


Comment on Maypole Dancing

Dancing with ribbons around the maypole may have been introduced to English culture but the maypole itself has been a symbol for many hundreds of years and I am sure people danced around it to celebrate spring even if they were without ribbons. A maypole goes up in the centre of Padstow, Cornwall every May Day. It certainly is an icon of Englishness for me. (Though many Cornish deny being English!)

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-01-21 by Henrietta Smith from folkestone, Kent


Comment on Maypole Dancing

Dancing round maypoles with ribbons interweaving is NOT an old English tradition. It was introduced in the late 19th Century by John Ruskin. Try a search on Google using: "John Ruskin" "Maypole Dancing" Maypoles are certainly an old English tradition, but children dancing round them plaiting ribbons is a very modern invention. People might like it, and think it's pretty, but please dn't tell us it's an old tradition going back hundreds of years, because it's not.

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-01-18 by Andrew Wigglesworth from Coventry, England


Comment on Maypole Dancing

I don't think this is an English icon as we also have it in Germany. Especially in the southern part of Germany Maypole dancing has a long-term tradition, too. Maybe you should double-check if it really traditionally English...

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-01-18 by Carolina CaƱas from Germany


Comment on Maypole Dancing

to reply to Jenny's comment, some Morris sides (vote for them as an Icon!!!) do dance around a pole crested with a garland of leaves on the first day (or weekend) of May. The ones I know of are Pilgrim Morris of Guildford, and it is a lovely procession with the "summer-pole" up the steep cobbled High Street and down to the castle grounds with a number of different morris teams to dance around the pole, followed by lunch in another English icon - the pub - and then do it all again in the afternoon!

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-01-16 by Karen McGowan from Grayshott, Hindhead, Surrey


Comment on Maypole Dancing

I always thought the ribbon-dancing version we have these days was imported fairly recently from Germany to entertain kiddies. Isn't the English maypole a different beast all together, with a crown of woven leaves and short ribbons dangling from it?

Comment on Maypole Dancing posted 2006-01-15 by Jenny from West Country