Wake me early mother dear for I'm to be Queen of the May!
No I never was the pagan queen but there is something about May Day which is still exciting . Celebrating the arrival of summer feels very natural today after all the dreadful weather but it's always been a huge festival of light and joy and hope for the bountiful summer to come!
Back in the day as they say , in Rochdale we still had mummers who appeared on the streets first for Saint George's Day, enacting the slaying of the dragon in ringing tones and the clashing of wooden swords!
Shortly afterwards May day was a time for dancing and dressing up!
I was once chosen to be a dancer around the Maypole in the the years of austerity after the war! Only one or two of us had parents who could afford new clothes so we wore anything colorful that came to hand., flowered curtains made us sneeze alot!
I did not know then that the maypole was a phallic symbol of fertility. Just as well none of us did, it was an age of innocence .We would have been dreadfully shocked if it had been mentioned.
I seem to remember that it was always a holiday from school, as was Ascension Day . I am not sure how that worked or if my memory is playing tricks on me but I do remember the dressing up, the laughter and the jingling moves of the morris men.
Us girls thought it very weird to watch the men singing and dancing, waving their sticks and shaking their bells. No double entendra meant!
Today I doubt if any formal recognition of the day is being held but as its glorious outside with blossom and sunshine and the promise of more to come then it's a good enough excuse for a bit of a celebration!
Must get the bells out!