May 2016 – Completion of Spring/Summer Festivals and Festivities

By | June 13, 2016

Topics covered:

May Eve – Before 1752, when the Julian Calendar was in place, May Day was later in the year and May blossom was flowering on the day.  Hawthorn was special, representative of the earth mother, fertility and goddess and used symbolically at May Eve.

May Poles – were saplings, often birch, where most branches were taken off and decorated.  These would be set up on the village green and danced around all year.  These were very different from the white Victorian ones we have today.

The May Queen – Originally had a King.  The procession provided a service to bring good luck in return for donations.

May Hobby Horses – In Padstow the Obby Oss is one of the last hobby horses, it comprises of a wooden frame resting on the rider’s shoulders, with a fashioned horse’s head.  With attendants the Hobby Horse would parade around the town.

May Dew – had special curative properties curing consumption and poor sight amongst other, and brought good luck for the year ahead.

Midsummer -rituals involved bonfires, these happened all over Europe with torchlight processions.

August – the first loaves were baked from the new wheat.

Harvest – rituals were pagan, rowdy and unbridled.  The church tamed it down and civilised it.  The Kern Baby or Corn Dolly preserved spirit of the Goddess of the Corn through the winter.

There was a short discussion on Mythology and how it is distinct from Folklore.  Mythology is large scale covering fundamentals such as where the universe comes from.   Folklore is more domestic.

Last Updated on October 24, 2016