5.4.14 – Seen: May Pole Celebration

May 4, 2014

We trekked to my favorite part of Central Park today  – The Great Hill –  for Kite Day at Alex’s school.   It was blustery and raw on top but that didn’t stop 40 kids from running wild with (and without) their kites.  In the center of the Great Hill, another school had put up a May Pole and was dancing around it with vim and vigor. The whole chaotic and yet sweet scene reminded me of the town where I grew up –  Putney, VT. Every May Day there was a May Pole and Morris Dancers in the town center (parking lot) and we’d all get together to watch, often in similar weather (nothing stopped the Morris dancers, not even rain).  The Morris Dancers with their crisp white shirts, bells and wooden sticks  were strange and compelling in their knowledge of the old ways.  Some say the dancers preform a fertility rite, a celebration of spring returning or represent the triumph of good or evil – whatever your take, the dances are old and rich in symbolism.  Thinking about Morris dancers got me to youtube, where I found this troupe in England who danced on May 1 2014. Their  unself-conscious enthusiasm and dedication to ritual warms my heart and makes me feel a part of it, in a weird digitally-intermediated way.  I hope you celebrated the coming of spring wherever it found you and that the grass is green and leaves are growing a little bit each day around you.

PS: Some good history on May Day / Beltane


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary May 5, 2014 at 10:04 am

Lovely! Check out John Langstaff and his Revels.

Luisa May 6, 2014 at 2:33 am

This is so great! You can feel the joy straight through the screen.

isabel May 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

those guys scare me.

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