Morris men and women celebrate May Day

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Men and women gather in a forest as sun rises over English skies – They’re all there to celebrate May Day. Some are spectators and others are taking part in the old English tradition of Morris

Morris men and women celebrate May Day

Men and women gather in a forest as sun rises over English skies –

They’re all there to celebrate May Day.

Some are spectators and others are taking part in the old English tradition of Morris Dancing.

(SOUNDBITE) Shalesbrook Morris Dancer, Susan Bass, saying (English):

“It’s a magical place to come at 5 o’clock in the morning with the birds singing and you get a little buzz and everyone thinks your slightly mad as well which helps.”

The origins of Morris Dancing are disputed – but its roots can be traced all the way back to the 15th century.

Some believe waving handkerchiefs and clashing batons helps drive away evil spirits.

It’s a tradition some want to keep going.

(SOUNDBITE) Ashdown Forest Morris Dancer, Bob Draper, saying (English):

“I think and we all think obviously it’s extremely important – I think if you lost your traditions as a culture you totally lose your identity, you lose your grounding, if you like, in the country.”

The two Morris teams who gathered this morning will be dancing through the day.

Doing their bit to help keep alive one of England’s oldest traditions.

Tags : celebrate, women, Morris

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