01 May 2024

In Pictures: May Day dawn welcomed by Morris Men and Pagans

01 May 2024

Dawn May Day celebrations have seen a riot of ritual and festivities on display across the UK.

Morris men gathered in Leicester and Hampshire to welcome the start of the month with traditional dances.

And Celtic Pagans took part in Beltane celebrations at Glastonbury Chalice Well to herald the start of the month.

The word Beltane roughly translates as “bright fire” and is an important ritual, which survives today as a Gaelic tradition, where a Beltane bonfire is lit.

Seen as a purifier and healer, people would have walked, danced and jumped over the fire, while farmers would also have driven their cattle between bonfires to cleanse and protect them before being put out into the fields.

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