MAYPOLE DANCING (Nationwide)

MAYPOLE DANCING (Nationwide)

Maypole dancing is a serious business. It may look to the untrained eye like a bunch of confused schoolchildren skipping around in a random fashion, but it does in fact involve careful choreography to create complex patterns of woven, multicoloured ribbons around the pole.

This ceremonial folk dance has been done to celebrate May Day and herald the arrival of spring since medieval times. The prettiest girl in the village was selected as the May Queen, and all the other bright young things of the village put on their best sackcloth and danced reels, jigs and hornpipes, accompanied by accordian, pipe and fiddle, winding their ribbons around that garlanded, phallic pole until they ended up kissing-distance close; then afterwards, they lit a funeral pyre with a post-coital cigarette and sacrificed the lucky May Queen to the pagan gods.