Dancing around the May Pole

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:43 29 April 2019

Ottery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives

Ottery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives

Copyright 2002

Dancing around the May Pole is a long-held tradition. Here we look back at one celebration, in Ottery St Mary, in 1999.

Ottery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archivesOttery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives

May Day is probably one of the celebrations that many see as a traditionally English event.

Over the centuries, the day has been marked with festivities, with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility for the crops, livestock and people,

Communities would gather for village fetes and similar activities.

In fact, it is celebrated across much of the northern hemisphere, with many of those nations adopting it for different reasons.

Ottery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archivesOttery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives

In England, one of the more obvious ways to mark the occasion was for people to dance around the May Pole and it is this activity that has continued to take place over the years.

Many schools still celebrate this traditional activity, with the crowning of the May King and Queen also being a part of festivities.

We have taken a look back in the archives to find these pictures of the May Day celebration at Ottery St Mary Primary School, which were taken in 1999.

It was clearly a well-attended event, with plenty of parents and grand parents lining the playground to see their children enjoying the event.

Ottery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archivesOttery Primary School May Day celebrations (1999). Picture: Sidmouth Herald archives

If the pictures spark any memories for you, why not get in touch and share them with us.

You can email the East Devon Resident at andrew.coley@archant.co.uk

To see more features from East Devon Resident, click here.

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