Everyone enjoys the flurry of springtime bank holidays, but do you know why we have them? The origin of May Day celebrations go back a long way in history and are often associated with the welcome of springtime, and the fertility of the land and livestock. Traditionally, it is celebrated on May 1st, however in England, it is sometimes celebrated on the first Monday in May.
We’ve picked out some of the best May Day events in the South West.
The Cerne Giant Festival, Dorset - 21st April - 1st May
The Cerne Giant is a famous hillside chalk figure, well known for its rather risque figure that plays a big part in local May Day celebrations. With a week packed of events and workshops in the local area, a decades-old tradition sees in the May Day celebrations. Every year the Wessex Morris Men can be found dancing above the Giant’s head as the sun rises on 1st May, before bringing a party atmosphere back to the village.
Find out more at http://bit.ly/2Htf86K
Padstow May Day, Cornwall - 1st May 2018
May Day, or ‘Obby ‘Oss Day as it is commonly known in Padstow, is the biggest event in the local calendar - often welcoming over 30,000 people into the small Cornish town! On the eve of May Day, locals gather outside the Golden Lion Inn singing the ‘Night Song’, and by morning, the town is dressed from head to toe in greenery and flowers. The procession begins with two “osses” emerging from their stables - one red, one blue. The osses proceed through the town led by a dance, with followers both young and old joining the procession every year, singing the May song.
Find out more at https://bit.ly/2Hl6Ttt
The Kingsbury May Festival, Somerset - 5th - 7th May 2018
The annual Kingsbury May Festival takes place in the small town of Kingsbury Episcopi, drawing in people from far and wide with a programme packed with events across the town over the course of the festival. On Saturday 5th May, festivities begin with a fancy dress race, followed by “Music in the Marquee”, with Monday 7th May seeing the main festival take place to celebrate the early May bank holiday - fun for all the family!
Find out more at https://bit.ly/2qwJMlt
The Black Prince Flower Boat May Day Procession, Cornwall - 7th May 2018
The Black Prince Flower Boat May Day Procession is a festival of colour. The procession features a flower-decorated model boat being paraded shoulder high through local villages, with buildings marking the route decorated in an array of colours and flowers. The event symbolises the death of winter, with the boat carrying the dead season away and launching it into the sea at the end of the procession. There’s also the more traditional celebrations of music, dancing in the streets, a Maypole, Morris Dancing and a village fete!
Find out more at https://bit.ly/2H32FTS.
Whatever you end up do this May Day, you can be sure that there’s plenty of celebrations happening, no matter where you are!
Need a way to get there? Why not hire one of our campervans!