A Maypole Dance


A maypole is a tall wooden pole erected as a part of various folk festivals, around which a maypole dance often takes place. The festivals may occur on May Day (May 1) or Pentecost (Whitsun), although in some countries it is instead erected at Midsummer. In some cases the maypole is a permanent feature that is only utilised during a festival, although in other cases it is erected specifically for the purpose before being taken down again.

At one time, Cleator Moor was no different to other parts of the country, with schoolgirls displaying their dancing abilities among the garlands hung from a Maypole on a purpose built stage at Wath Brow. Perhaps its a tradition that should be brought back? 

English historian Ronald Hutton believes that maypoles were erected "simply" as "signs that the happy season of warmth and comfort had returned."

The shape of a Maypole allowed for garlands to be hung from them and were first seen, at least in the British Isles, between AD 1350 and 1400 within the context of medieval Christian European culture.

The symbolism of the maypole has been continuously debated by folklorists for centuries, although no definitive answer has been found. Perhaps the truth behind the Maypole Dance, is that it's just good fun?
Wath Brow Maypole Dance, C1940



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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: A Maypole Dance
A Maypole Dance
Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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